Four people have been arrested in Hollywood for allegedly burglarizing the homes of celebrities including singer Rihanna, Christina Milian, baseball star Yasiel Puig of the LA Dodgers, and Robert Woods of the LA Rams, Los Angeles police announced on Tuesday the 2nd of October.
The Culprits of Hollywood
The suspects are Jshawne Daniels, Tyress Williams, Damaji Hall, and Ashle Hall – three teens (two aged 19 and one 18) and a 34-year-old woman.
Carranza, LAPD’s commercial crimes division captain, said they drove to the homes of their targets in designer clothes and a luxury car. Immediately before their break-ins, they changed into hoodies to conceal their identities.
Each alleged member of the ring is African American and three of them are young men; the lone woman in the group is the mom of one suspect.
The reason most of the suspects are men might explain why they allegedly hit Hollywood athletes and leads to the speculation of a probable psychological aspect to their motivation.
The celebrities robbed also stand out because they’re all people of colour. There’s speculation that they were targeted because African-American burglars would presumably look less conspicuous stepping onto the estates of African-American celebrities.
Authorities who made the arrests seized purses and wallets, watches, jewelry and a gun. The suspects were reportedly found with $50,000 in cash and are suspected of being a part of a larger ring that specializes in breaking into the homes of athletes, actors and Hollywood film producers for theft.
The home of basketball star LeBron James, Viola Davis and Matt Damon also appeared on a list of dwellings that was seized by police and appeared to name future targets for robbery.
It’s still unclear how the robbers broke into the homes of their celebrity targets. However, taking into account how easy it is to find celebrity’s addresses, no one would be surprised if they just used a simple search on the internet.
In a conversation with Vulture in 2013, Siciliano a personal and home security expert said, ‘When you roll into Hollywood, you can get a map to the stars on any street corner for five bucks that will show you where everybody lives…So in that scenario, it’s very difficult for those people to stay private unless they purposefully do just that. And that is often expensive’.
LeBron James, one of the would-be targets; has already taken steps to make his LA home more secure. A team of roughly 10 armed guards, including off-duty cops are reported to be patrolling the grounds of his estate.
Social Media Partly To Be Blamed
“During recent months, the Los Angeles Police Department has become aware of a series of residential burglaries targeting actors, producers, musicians and professional athletes living in the Los Angeles area,” Lillian Carranza, head of the LAPD commercial crimes division, told a news conference.
“The victims’ homes had been selected based on social media postings and touring or travel schedules of the owners. The burglars believed no one would be home and that the homes would contain sought-after valuables that they might be interested in,” she added.
However, blame is often directed towards the victims. It isn’t’t that these celebrities upload images of million dollar jewels on social media. Rather, they share their comings and goings on Twitter, making it easy for the burglars to know when they won’t be home.
A Copycat Crime Similar To The Bling Ring?
Over the past two years the homes of celebrities such as Alanis Morissette, Nicki Minaj and Emmy Rossum have also been burglarized.
Previously, a group of teens ( a.k.a. ‘The Bling Ring’ ) burglarized the homes of Hollywood celebrities like Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom, and Paris Hilton in 2008.
The crime ring inspired a Lifetime movie and film (starring Emma Watson), and has now potentially influenced a new quartet of copycats to steal from the rich and famous.
The leader of the first bling ring, Rachel Lee, began stealing primarily “based on her desire to own the designer wardrobes of the Hollywood celebrities she admired,” according to the LAPD.
The members of the ring especially admired Megan Fox’s wardrobe, and for Lee, in particular, Lindsay Lohan was the “ultimate fashion icon.”
After Lee’s arrest, she longed to hear Lohan’s thoughts on the crimes. She reportedly asked an LAPD detective working the case, “What did Lindsay say?”
The exact motivations of each bling ring member isn’t still entirely known. While the group was largely been portrayed in the press and in the film as disaffected white youth from the wealthy LA suburb of Calabasas, the truth is more complicated.
Similarly, these recent string of Hollywood robberies might be more complicated than a desire for the finer things in life and might just be a wake up call to a society that covets material goods over everything else.