How Did The Teen “Bling Ring” Manage To Rob Celebs Of Millions?
Seven LA teens and young adults were accused of robbing multiple celebrity homes in 2008 and 2009.
From October 2008 to August 2009, a group of high schoolers miraculously pulled off a series of robberies targeting high-profile celebrities of the time. The group became known as “The Bling Ring”.
The Bling Ring is said to have started with Nick Prugo and Rachel Lee. The duo began their tirade by stealing from cars in affluent neighborhoods and went onto much bigger targets. They eventually recruited Alexis Neiers, Diana Tamayo, Courtney Ames, Johnny Ajar, and Roy Lopez Jr, according to the Los Angeles Times.
These 7 teenagers and young adults successfully stole from Paris Hilton, Audrina Patridge, Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr, Rachel Bilson, Brian Austen Green, Megan Fox, and Lindsay Lohan.
According to reporting by the New York Post, Paris Hilton was the first celebrity whose home was hit. In fact, the group went on to steal from Hilton’s home three more times.
Using gossip websites like TMZ and Perez Hilton, the group was able to determine the times that Hilton wouldn’t be home. They used Google Earth to develop a strategy to break in. According to the Post, in one robbery alone the group walked away with about $2 million worth of jewelry.
From Audrina Patridge, a television personality known from MTV’s The Hills, the group took luggage, jewelry, and clothes, worth about a little over $40,000.
After their string of robberies, even becoming popular on social media and fan club blogs, the LAPD successfully built a case against the Bling Ring. According to the Post, Lee was sentenced to 4 years in prison and Prugo to two, although he only served a little over a year before being released. Neiers got six months while Ames, Tamayo, and Lopez, Jr. received probation.
Neiers was put in the same jail cell that Paris Hilton occupied a few years earlier for violation of her parole. Neiers was also cell neighbors with Lindsay Lohan for a brief period. Both of whom were celebrities she’d robbed.
Hilton, now 41, one of the targets of the group, declined to participate in the upcoming Netflix docuseries about the crimes, The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist.
“She has no interest in reliving this after all these years,” a source told Page Six.
Hilton did make a cameo in The Bling Ring, the 2013 A24 fictional movie about the string of crimes.