In December 2008, it was announced that Paris Hilton's home had been ransacked. An estimated $2,000,000 in jewelry, cash, clothing and other items were reported stolen. The burglars had entered through an unlocked door.
It was a seemingly random act targeting a rich celebrity. Surveillance video captured a lone figure in a hood and gloves fleeing the property at dawn. Police had no leads and no arrests were made.
Two months later, another celebrity's home was ransacked and a reported $43,000 in goods were taken. This time, the victim was reality star Audrina Patridge. Surveillance video captured two people, a man and a woman in hats and gloves, running through the star's expansive home with bags slung over their shoulders, grabbing everything in sight.
Patridge placed the surveillance video on her Web site and appealed for help in identifying the burglars.
Three months passed. Then, on May 9, 2009, actress Rachel Bilson's mother discovered her daughter's home also had been ransacked. Once again, the thieves seemed to target the star's vast store of designer goods.
Two months later, surveillance cameras on actor Orlando Bloom's property captured four hooded figures walking backwards to the door, apparently trying to avoid surveillance. Almost $500,000 worth of goods belonging to Bloom and girlfriend Miranda Kerr were reported stolen.
Over the next four months, four more homes were burglarized in the star-studded hills surrounding Los Angeles, including the home of Linsday Lohan and the shared residence of Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox.
With the theft at Lohan's home, police got their first big break. Surveillance video showed the images of multiple burglars, two of whom looked very familiar. Police were certain they were also involved in the Patridge break-in.
The burglars were dubbed the "Bling Ring."
Police say the ring's ultimate downfall wasn't surveillance cameras or police work: It was ego. The Los Angeles Police Department says it received a tip that two people had been overheard bragging about stealing from Lohan and Patridge. The two suspects weren't hardened adult criminals: They were teenagers who attended high school in Calabasas, a posh L.A. suburb.
In September 2009, police arrived at the Calabasas home of Nick Prugo. The precocious, shy teen had been identified as a "Bling Ring" member.
"I never thought it would escalate into something that, you know, affected so many people and was so serious," Prugo said in a recent exclusive interview with ABC News' Chris Cuomo.
Prugo, 19, now is charged with seven counts of residential burglary. Each count carries a sentence of two to six years in prison.
Prugo said he was shy growing up and constantly searching for a way to fit in at school.
"I just kind of kept to myself, didn't really talk to anybody, waited for people to approach me," Prugo said.
Prugo's mother, Lynn Prugo, told Cuomo that her son had been an aspiring actor.
"He was acting in sixth-grade plays and stuff, and he seemed to enjoy that," said Lynn Prugo. "He did some background stuff for some of the shows, and we even let him take lessons."
But Prugo said as he moved into his teenage years, he battled a lack of confidence and low self-esteem.
"I kind of looked in the mirror all the time and saw this ugly kid, or like I wasn't good enough and I would always get really down on myself," Prugo said.