Hollywood Burglars Dubbed the “Bling Ring”

Lots and lots of people are looking for their 15 minutes of fame. Some get on reality TV shows, others rescue someone from being hit by a speeding train. But then there are the ones who break into celebrity homes.

Victims include Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, Orlando Bloom, Megan Fox and others. A half dozen teens from a hoity toity suburb of LA fancied the celeb lifestyle and considered themselves part of the “in” crowed. There was only one problem, they weren’t celebrities.

But they lived the celeb lifestyle by hanging out in all the clubs, staying up all night and doing drugs. Their thirst for drugs led to the need for more money to pay for those drugs. So they started to steal. They first started to break into cars. That was their “gateway” felony which led to breaking into homes.

However, celebrity also meant all the material items that go with money. They needed the same designer bags and clothing as their idols. They wanted exactly what the rich and famous owned and wore, what better way to get them than steal from the celebs they admired. So they did just that. They spent time on the celebrity gossip sites looking at celeb pictures and picking out items they wore to steal from them.

Their methods were simple. They tracked their victims by using social media, Facebook and Twitter. They know when they were home and when they were away.  They even used Google Earth to scope out their homes.

They would approach a home and knock on the door and ring the bell. If nobody was home they’d jiggle the door knob. It was reported that Paris Hilton didn’t lock her doors. When a door was locked they looked under the mat for a key and often found one.

Police estimated that from October 2008 to August 2009, the “Bling Ring” stole more than $3 million in jewelry and high-end designer brands.

Lindsey Lohan had a video security camera system installed that caught the thieves on video. It was that film that led the arrest of the Bling Ring members. Now they are all famous.

It’s painfully obvious that the victims in these crimes didn’t do enough to protect themselves. Some locked their doors and other didn’t. Some had security cameras and others didn’t. But NONE had an home alarm system that activated when the home was broken into. A home alarm system would have prevented most of these crimes.

I’ll bet there were other celebrities targeted who didn’t make the story, because their home wasn’t burgled, because they had alarms.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Security on NBC Boston.

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