LA confidential: Schoolgirls burgled homes of celebs

LA confidential: Schoolgirls burgled homes of celebs


The Los Angeles police say four teenage girls and a boy pored over fashion magazines, websites and gossip television shows and selected jewellery and clothing they wanted, then determined where the targeted stars lived, cased their houses, and struck, in some cases more than once at the same house.

The crude burglaries, which police say netted millions of dollars, were captured on surveillance cameras, and detectives have linked the teens to break-ins at the Hollywood homes of Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, reality television star Audrina Patridge, and others, US news media reported. In some instances the victims remained unaware their homes had been burgled.

“This is a no-brains caper. There’s not a lot of self-awareness,” Los Angeles detective Brett Goodkin told The Los Angeles Times. “They saw it, they wanted it, they took it and continued taking it.” The suspects, who include a girl who was hoping to star in a reality television show of her own, have earned instant notoriety in a culture in which the bar for media stardom seems to drop weekly.

In a twist seemingly written by a jobbing Hollywood screenwriter, the suspects now find themselves featured alongside the celebrities they are accused of burgling on TMZ.com, a celebrity news website that has followed the case since the thefts were first reported.

The police say the group’s ringleader Rachel Lee, 19, was arrested in Las Vegas on Friday. TMZ reported that authorities seized from Lee’s father’s home in Las Vegas a hat linked to Lohan and partially nude photos linked to Hilton. Lee, Diana Tamayo, 19, Courtney Ames, 18, Nicholas Prugo, 18, and Alexis Neiers, 18, are accused of a burglary spree that began in October 2008 and ran until September.
Prugo was the first arrested, after turning up alongside others in surveillance footage. He was accused of stealing $170,000 in designer jewellery and clothing from the homes of Lohan and Patridge.

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