A group of teens dubbed the Hollywood Hills Burglar Bunch, allegedly created an elaborate, technology-aided scheme to pull off a string of heists from the homes of celebrities like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom, police said.
Five teens and another man were arrested Thursday for allegedly lifting millions in cash, art and jewelry after they used the Internet to learn the layouts of the targeted homes, when the stars would be out at parties, and even what jewelry they would be wearing.
A major break in the thefts, which had been going on for months, came when a security camera at the home of MTV reality star Audrina Patridge captured clear images of the burglars in the act.
Rachel Lee, 18, was arrested in Las Vegas, while Courtney Ames and Alexis Neiers, both 18, Diana Tamayo, 19, and Roy Lopez Jr., 27, were arrested in the Los Angeles area, police said. The five people were all arrested Thursday and booked on charges of residential burglary, with bail set at $50,000 each, according to a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department. Lee, Ames and Neiers have been released after posting the $50,000 bail.
Another man, Nicholas Prugo, 18, was charged Tuesday with two counts of residential burglary in connection with break-ins at the homes of Lohan and Patridge, KABC-TV reported. LAPD spokeswoman Rosario Herrera told The Associated Press that she didn't know whether the suspects have any links to Prugo, who allegedly stole $170,000 worth of designer jewelry and clothes from Lohan and Patridge.
Firearms, Drugs Recovered With Stolen Loot
Investigators carrying out search warrants in the case recovered numerous items of property "stolen during a series of burglaries committed at the residences of well known celebrities," according to an LAPD statement.
Police also found three firearms and a large amount of narcotics, the statement said.
Four of the suspects reportedly attended the Indian Hills High School for troubled teens in the wealthy Los Angeles suburb of Agora Hills.
Paris Hilton personally thanked the LAPD after the arrests for recovering much of the $2 million worth of jewelry that was stolen from her home in December.
"Pirates of the Carribean" star Orlando Bloom was allegedly robbed of close to $500,000 worth of jewelry and cash during a burglary in July.