Bel Air Burglars Rob Rich and Famous

Two burglars were caught on tape as the scaled walls and robbed an L.A. home.

ByABC News via via logo
January 08, 2009, 1:12 AM

Aug. 31, 2007 — -- A manhunt is underway for two Bel-Air, Calif., burglars, caught on tape as they burglarized a mansion in Los Angeles.

True to southern California form, their getaway car was a Lexus, The crime is a sort of "Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous" meets "Cops," and it's not an isolated incident.

Bel-Air, one of the world's wealthiest neighborhoods, has been hit by multi-million dollar burglaries for years. Police haven't caught any burglars, but a surveillance camera recently did.

Two suspected burglars pulled up to a Bel-Air home in a luxury Lexus and pushed the call button. When no one responded they moved fast, but seemed relaxed -- so relaxed that they stopped to enjoy a cigarette. They jumped the wall, scrambled to the backyard and, according to police, grabbed thousands of dollars worth of jewelry.

The video hits too close to home for 79-year-old Aida Thibiant, whose Bel-Air home has been burglarized twice in six months.

"I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I had a lot of cash money and my jewelry! I had millions of dollars of jewelry," Thibiant said.

The Bel-Air area is a treasure chest for burglars who, in the past four years, have walked away with an estimated $20 million in loot. More than 150 homes of the rich and famous have been burglarized, including those of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and Duran Duran guitarist John Taylor.

Movie director William Friedkin and former studio chief Sherry Lansing are suing a security company after their Bel-Air home was burglarized.

The security company is not discussing the details of the lawsuit.

Security guards say it's difficult to case up mansions when they are hidden behind walls and landscaping.

"Unless you've got the access to get in there and look, all you can do is eyeball what's out in the front," ACS Security Guard Ken Dennington said.

In addition to the video catching the Bel-Air burglars in the act, there are also blurred photos of two burglars linked to 70 break-ins. But the images haven't turned up any leads.

"There's a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of these suspects," said Lt. Ray Lombardo of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Police don't know whether the intruders in the video are linked to other break-ins, but they hope they will be identified soon, before another mansion is cleaned out.

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