Las Vegas Metro Police Department
Published Monday, July 2, 2012 | 12:55 p.m.
Updated Monday, July 2, 2012 | 2:56 p.m.
The "Mustache Bandit" has been identified and is in police custody, Metro Police say.
Troy Lee Mullner, 45, Las Vegas, was booked Sunday into the Clark County Detention Center on 18 counts of robbery, two counts of attempted robbery and 12 counts of burglary.
Police say Mullner is accused of robbing small sandwich shops and electronics stores at strip malls across the valley since April. The Mustache Bandit last struck on June 18.
Around 10 p.m. Saturday, two officers driving near Eastern Avenue and Warm Springs Road recognized Mullner and stopped him, Metro Lt. Ron Fox said at a news conference this morning in which Mullner’s arrest was announced. Police interviewed Mullner later that night and were able to develop enough information to link him to 14 robberies, Fox said.
A subsequent police search of a friend's residence at Desert Inn Road and Mohave Road yielded clothing Mullner had worn in previous robberies as well as a BB gun, Fox said.
"This solely comes down to two sharp cops that were paying attention to the information that we put out there," Fox said.
Early reports of the Mustache Bandit were of a suspect with a more pronounced mustache, Fox said, but after increased media coverage, the suspect appeared clean-shaven on surveillance photos taken at shops where he struck. Later on, the mustache had returned. Although Mullner had shaven since Metro released pictures to the public, Fox said the officers were aided in part because they felt the suspect could easily grow a mustache overnight.
Two weeks ago, Metro Police put out a call to the public and the department in identifying the bandit, releasing security camera shots.
"We appreciate your efforts and the efforts of the community in helping us to keep some eyes out ... and to get this guy in custody and get him off the street," Fox said.
This is not the first time Mullner has been in trouble with the law. He has a criminal history that includes kidnapping, battery and parole violations in Las Vegas and Henderson, said Marcus Martin, a Metro spokesman.
"He's obviously a prolific criminal," Martin said.