A group of teen boys and their mother have been arrested in relation to a string of burglaries of very rich and famous people. Their victims have included Rihanna, Christina Milian, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, Rams player Robert Woods, and French singer Matthieu "M. Pokora" Tota, reports Billboard.
Yesterday at a press conference, the Los Angeles Police Department (LADP) explained that, after a series of A-listers had been hit by burglaries, they began to investigate a connection between the incidents. The suspects are now believed to be a part of a wider burglary ring targeting actors, musicians and athletes.
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Lillian Carranza, commanding officer of the LAPD Commercial Crimes Division, says the ring is likely responsible for nearly two dozen burglaries, and the theft of millions of dollars worth of cash and property including designer clothes, purses, watches and jewelry.
On Friday, law enforcement arrested 19-year-old Jshawne Lamon Daniels, 19-year-old Tyress Lavon Williams, and 18-year-old Damaji Corey Hall, all of whom have been charged with burglary. On Sunday, one more arrest was made, of Hall's 34-year-old mother, Ashle Hall, who has been charged with grand theft. Carranza said she expects more arrests to follow.
Police seized a list of names and addresses of additional targets in the homes of one of the suspects, Carranza said, including Viola Davis, Matt Damon and LeBron James.
Victims were identified and timings of the robberies were arranged based on tour and game schedules, as well as social media postings. Woods was robbed last Thursday, while it was publicly known that he would be away for a game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
The teen robbers would use a method that Carranza called "flocking," where they dressed themselves in designer clothes and drove to the celebrity's home in a luxury car in an attempt to blend into the neighborhood. Before executing the break-in Carranza said the suspects would "change into more comfortable clothing and hoodies to avoid being recognized."
The question on everyone's mind: is the bling ring back?
In 2010, a gang of teens led by Alexis Neiers stole more than $3 million in property from celebrities including Paul Oakenfold, Orlando Bloom, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Bilson, Paris Hilton, Ashley Tisdale and Audrina Patridge. Neiers was convicted and her story gave birth to a 2013 film The Bling Ring, TV show Pretty Wild and the book The Bling Ring: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World by Vanity Fair's Nancy Jo Sales.
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We can't know for sure if this new crew are copy cats, but it seems fair to say that as long as celebrities are rich and teenagers are bored and want cash and nice stuff, the cycle shall repeat.
Read Vanity Fair's report on the original Bling Ring, here.
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