The Los Angeles Police on Tuesday announced the arrests of four people for allegedly burglarizing more than two dozen homes belonging to celebrities such as Rihanna, Christina Milian, and L.A. Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig. The three teens and one of their mothers are suspected of stealing millions of dollars’ worth of jewelry, designer purses, watches, and other valuable items over the past year.
Police believe the suspects used social media to determine when the celebrities would be traveling, touring, or otherwise away from their homes.
Police officers inadvertently found the four people on Sept. 27 while making a routine traffic stop. The suspects were allegedly in possession of property belonging to Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods, whose house had just been looted while his team was playing against the Minnesota Vikings. Officers then searched the suspects’ home and found other items believed to have been stolen from other prominent sports and entertainment industry figures, along with $50,000 in cash.
Officers also found that they had been collecting the names and addresses of more than a dozen other celebrities, such as Viola Davis, LeBron James, and Matt Damon. The three teens were arrested on charges of burglary, while the mother was arrested for grand theft.
Police believe that the alleged robbers first scouted their targets’ homes by driving smart cars through affluent neighborhoods while wearing button-down shirts to avoid suspicion. They would then return to the home with a larger car and knock on the front door to make sure no one was there. At that point, two people in the group would enter through a door or window and head straight to the master bedroom in search of valuables. They apparently executed the robberies so quickly that they would be gone before the alarm system was set off.
There have been a rash of break-ins at celebrities’ houses in the last two years. Rappers Wiz Khalifa and Post Malone have both been targets of recent home invasions. In a notable 2017 case, burglars made off with a safe containing $2 million in valuables belonging to Alanis Morissette.