The teenage gang that terrorized Hollywood

In October 2008, Beverly Hills ordinary people were shaken to the core by a series of robberies that appeared to target celebrities. Reality star Paris Hilton was the first victim to report that what appeared to be a well-organized gang stole money, jewelry, high-end clothing and shoes.

Old Paris would be targeted again, along with Orlando Bloom, Megan Fox, Rachel Bilson, Audrina Patridge and Lindsay Lohan, and it’s estimated that around $3 million worth of money, art and merchandise was lost ) the raids were captured.

However, it seemed strange that the culprits were so interested in clothes and high-fashion shoes that still wore the tags, and when the nefarious gang were eventually cornered, they turned out to be a bunch of fame-obsessed teenagers.

Sofia Coppola made a film about her exploits and a three-part documentary Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist (Channel 4, Monday, 10 p.m.) we find out what motivated the “gang of burglars” and what subsequently became of them. The group of seven was led by Nick Prugo and Rachel Lee, two high school friends who grew up in the upscale LA neighborhood of Calabasas but weren’t as wealthy as most of their neighbors. This seemed to annoy them.

Nick had a cocaine addiction, Rachel was obsessed with celebrity, and both had been expelled from school. The two 18-year-olds hatched a plan to rid the rich and beautiful of their superfluous furniture. After stealing cars and neighbors’ homes to hone their skills, they chose reality star Paris Hilton as their first victim. They used Google Maps and a map showing the Hollywood stars’ homes to locate her home, and monitored her movements on social media to find out when she wouldn’t be there.

“I started poking around the gossip sites,” explains Prugo in the documentary, “when I saw that Paris Hilton was going to Miami, we got the idea to rob her house. We had already seen so much of Paris Hilton’s life that entering her home didn’t seem much more like a step.”

That last statement is either a revealing glimpse into the confused minds of the reality TV generation, or a mitigating argument cunningly concocted by Prugo’s legal team. Anyhow, Prugo, Lee and their associates seemed to bitterly resent the fame and fortune of the likes of Hilton, who seemed to have achieved it without displaying any obvious charm or talent.

And initially, Hilton was her preferred destination. “Between October and December [of 2008]’ says Prugo in the film, ‘we’ve been there five times. Open purses with cash sticking out, hundreds and fifties, one night’s change. I felt like I needed it more than she did.” Mr. Prugo doesn’t seem particularly remorseful. “We kept going home to Paris, it was like our personal ATM, we always knew we’d find some grand.”

They used their ill-gotten gains to fund shopping sprees on Rodeo Drive that allowed them to live the glittering lives they believed fate had so wrongly denied them. But problems arose when they started to branch out. In the lush gaff of Pirates of the Caribbean Actor Orlando Bloom, who he shared with then-wife Miranda Kerr, Prugo and Lee, found “10 Rolex watches, five grand in cash.” They stole up to $300,000 worth of jewelry and clothing from actress Rachel Bilson’s home, some of which they flogged for cash on the Venice boardwalk. Their crimes made headlines now, but they reveled in the attention and became ruthless. When security cameras caught them breaking into the home of smarter reality star Audrina Patridge, they were arrested.

The gang’s age and celebrity obsession attracted significant media attention during their trials and the 2013 film directed by Sofia Coppola The bling ringWhile aiming to emphasize their nothingness, they only increased the publicity they seemed to crave.

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Rachel Lee, who was cast as the ringleader during the trial, was sentenced to four years in prison, served a year and a half and has expressed regret for her actions. Prugo got two years, served one, and it all seems a bit of a gasp in this compelling documentary.

“I learned from that,” he concludes.

You have to ask yourself what exactly. The teenage gang that terrorized Hollywood

Fry Electronics Team

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