RENO, NV - For two months a series of smash and grab burglaries frustrated local police.
The M-O was the same. A rock thrown through a door or window. Two men make a quick dash for the cash register or on rare occasions electronic merchandise. It's over in less than a minute. Police respond within minutes but the thieves are long gone.
Then two weeks ago, they arrested a man with the improbable name of Prince Monaco following another burglary at a north Reno AT&T store.
Police say evidence found in his car link him to that crime and some of the other smash and grabs.
Francis Mullin says she's lived with Monaco for five years. A search of their apartment yields more stolen property. Even with all this evidence and the fact there are outstanding burglary warrants for Monaco in Oregon, Mullin says she still believes he's innocent. She blames another man who was staying with them who has now disappeared.
Where are is he now?
"Don't know. We were pretty close until this happened and now I have no idea where they are."
Monaco's guilt or innocence will be determined at trial. He stands accused so far of three burglaries in Reno, three in Sparks.
Mullin and her three young children are already paying a price. After the police search of her apartment they were evicted.
So where are they living now?
"Place to place. Wherever I can. I have a truck. That's about it.
They're living in her vehicle?
"Part of the time, yes. Anywhere I can go until I can find something permanent."
Mullin was attending TMCC working toward a degree in social work. That's now on hold.
In the meantime in jail, Monaco has a roof over his head. Mullin and her children do not.