“The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Robberies”, the story of teenagers who stole from the homes of VIPs

From September 21 on Netflix the docuseries in three episodes on the story of the Bling Ring gang: seven young people, some only teenagers, who between 2008 and 2009 robbed the villas of VIPs in Los Angeles County, taking away objects for a total value of about 3 million dollars. Among the victims Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom and Lindsay Lohan. Now some of them have decided to tell their version

Almost 10 years after the film directed by Sofia Coppola, the members of the Bling Ring gang tell their truth. Comes September 21 on Netflix (also visible on Sky Q and via the app on Now Smart Stick) The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Robberiesa three-episode docuseries that reconstructs through the voices of the protagonists the story of the gang of young thieves – some of them at the time were teenagers – who between 2008 and 2009 robbed the homes of several celebrities in Los Angeles County, for a loot total of approximately 3 million dollars.

The protagonists speak

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The docuseries, as emerges from the trailer, tells the Bling Ring gang by making some of those who were then the members that made it talk about: now they have served their sentence and have decided to retrace what happened. Nick Norgo appears, Nick Prugo at the time, who says of himself: “I’ve always been the kind of person willing to do anything to get what he wanted. But I had never imagined even in my wildest dreams that all this would reach the level of crime it then reached ”. There is also Alexis Haines (at the time Alexis Neiers), who in Sofia Coppola’s film has the face of Emma Watson: “They painted me as the leader of the Bling Ring-she explains in the trailer of the docuseries-But it’s absolutely not true. I’m not here to save face, but to be honest ”. Among the voices also those of the famous blogger Perez Hilton and of one of the victims, Audrina Patridge, whose home was burgled on February 22, 2009 during the night of the Oscars: “After the raid on the house I was terrified as never before in my life” .

Who were the members of the Bling Ring gang?

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The Bling Ring band was made up of 7 people, between teenagers and young adults. There were Rachel Lee, a wealthy teenager considered the organizational mind of the group, and Nicholas Frank Prugo, a friend of Rachel Lee with whom – before dedicating himself to the villas of the VIPs – he stole 8 thousand dollars from the house of an acquaintance to spend them on shopping in stores. by Rodeo Drive. Then three other friends from Rachel Lee’s social circle: Alexis Neiers, Diana Tamayo – so petite that she entered a villa in the cat flap and then opened the door for her accomplices – and Courtney Ames. And it is through the latter that the others met the last two boys: Johnny Ajar, Ames ‘boyfriend and former prisoner recruited only to resell the stolen items, and Roy Lopez, Jr., Ames’ colleague in a restaurant in Calabasas, involved in the same motive of Ajar but who also participated in one of the thefts made in the house of Paris Hilton taking away 2 million dollars worth of jewels. The Bling Ring was a group of problem teens, not just fashion and celebrity obsessed guys. Four of them, Nick Prugo, Rachel Lee, Diana Tamayo and Alexis Neiers, attended Indian Hills Alternative High School together after being expelled from other institutions. Prugo and Lee started stealing credit cards and cash from Mercedes, Bentleys, and other expensive cars left open in their neighborhood, and he was being treated for anxiety and attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder. Tamayo, as reported later by the police, had entered the United States from Mexico without documents.

The victims

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The Bling Ring gang targeted the stars of the show, particularly women, according to Prugo “mainly because of [delle] women who want women’s stuff ”. Rachel Lee talked about their forays saying they went “shopping”. They located the homes of celebrities using Google Maps and the celebrityaddressaerial.com website, and then entered when they knew – thanks to the internet and social networks – that the owners were away because they were busy with some social event. The first victim was Paris Hilton, in whose home the Bling Ring gang broke in a total of five times: the heiress of the luxury hotel chain noticed the thefts and only denounced after the disappearance of the 2 million dollars jewels. She then she touched the actress Audrina Patridge, during the night of the 2009 Oscars: she was stolen jewels, her passport, a pc and jeans for a total value of 43 thousand dollars. The OC star Rachel Bilson was robbed three to six times in just two months in 2009: the thieves stole between $ 130,000 and $ 300,000 in luxury goods. On July 13, 2009 it was the turn of Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr’s villa: the Bling Ring gang stole high fashion clothes, artwork, Louis Vuitton suitcases and Bloom’s vintage Rolex collection, for a total of about half million dollars. From the home of Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox the young people took, among other things, a semi-automatic pistol later found by the police in Ajar’s possession: that villa was chosen – according to Prugo – because Rachel Lee wanted Megan Fox’s clothes. The latest theft dates back to August 23, 2009: the victim was Lindsay Lohan from whom Lee, Prugo and Tamayo stole $ 130,000 in clothes and jewelry. Prugo later confessed to police that there were other stars in their sights for the future, including Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron, Hilary Duff, and Vanessa Hudgens.

Investigations and arrests

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The Bling Ring gang was identified after some of them were caught on surveillance cameras at Audrina Patridge and Lindsay Lohan’s mansions. On August 26, 2009, after seeing that both videos had immortalized the same people, the LAPD posted Lohan’s video on the gossip site. TMZ, while an informant told police that Lee and Prugo were responsible for the theft. Prugo was arrested and, although at first he denied any involvement of him in the affair, in the end he confessed without negotiating. Two weeks later, the LAPD also arrested the others.

The convictions

Rachel Lee was sentenced to 4 years in prison, but after a year and 4 months she was paroled. Nicholas Prugo was given 2 years in prison: he was released after a year for good behavior. Alexis Neiers was sentenced to 180 days in prison and 3 years of probation and to return $ 600,000 to Orlando Bloom: during her detention Lindsay Lohan was in the same penitentiary. For Diana Tamayo and Courtney Ames, the judges decided on 3 years of probation and 60 days of community service. Johnny Ajar was sentenced to 3 years in prison but was released after 1 year. For Roy Lopez Jr. the sentence was 3 years of probation and 100 days in prison.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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