Even without his trademark facial hair, the Mustache Bandit could not escape the vigilant eyes of Las Vegas police.
Troy Mullner, 45, was arrested Sunday and charged with more than a dozen felonies related to a robbery spree between April and July, police said Monday.
Police said Mullner was responsible for more than 14 robberies of local businesses, most being sandwich shops and electronics stores. Detectives were investigating to determine whether other robberies could be linked to him.
Lt. Ron Fox said the widespread media coverage two weeks ago was partially responsible for the suspect’s capture.
In the news conference, police showed surveillance footage of a robber they dubbed the Mustache Bandit because of his thick whiskers.
Word about the suspect spread within the Metropolitan Police Department, Fox said, and two officers from the department’s South Central Area Command were paying close attention.
The officers spotted Mullner walking near the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Warm Springs Road and recognized their suspect even without most of his facial hair, police said.
"This solely came down to two sharp cops paying attention to the information we put out there," Fox said.
Mullner was sporting a thin, days-old goatee in his police booking photo. Fox said Mullner probably shaved after his ninth robbery and was seen on security cameras without hair on his lip, but the mustache had almost regrown by the end of the robbery spree. "If you look at this guy, he has the ability to grow a mustache almost overnight," he said.
Mullner has an extensive arrest record and criminal history related to robberies, burglaries and kidnapping, police said. None of the recent robberies was violent, but Fox said Mullner probably used a BB gun to simulate a firearm during some of the robberies.
Fox thanked the community for their help and said he was glad a seasoned criminal was off the streets.
"We definitely appreciate all of your efforts," he said.
Contact reporter Mike Blasky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0283.