A member of the Bling Ring, Rachel Lee has been accused of breaking into the house of TV star Audrina Patridge and stealing 3 million worth of jewelry, watches, paintings and handbags from her home and the homes of other celebrities. According to the celebrities, they were not insured for these items. Lee has pleaded no contest for first-degree residential burglary and can face up to 4 years in prison. She will be sentenced on 21st October, 2011.
Lee has been involved in conspiracies of arranging burglaries in the homes of Lindsey Lohan and Orlando Bloom since the stolen items were recovered from her Las Vegas family home. However, after the plea bargain, prosecutors have dropped charges of felony count of conspiracy and other counts of possession of stolen items.
Other burglaries she has been involved in include homes of, Rachel Bilson, Brian Austin-Green and , and Patridge in just one year. All burglaries took place between September 2008 and August 2009. Some celebrities were burglarized twice or even thrice during this period.
The conspiracy involves other members of Bling Ring as well, including Nicholas Prugo, 20; Diana Tamayo, 21; Courtney Leigh Ames, 20; Roy Lopez Jr., 29 and Alexis Neiers, all of whom have pleaded not guilty to all charges. According to police, this group of young women first attempted small scale burglaries on the homes of rich and prominent figures in their community and later on started looking for more luxurious items worn by celebrities. They used social networking websites to check onto the addresses and work schedules of these celebrities and then attempted planned large scale burglaries.
Police said that the area under target during most of the burglaries was Mulholland Boulevard between Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Dona Pegita Drive. The criminals would not have come into notice had it not been for the carelessness of some of the group members. Prugo and Lee didn’t make any effort to remove the surveillance camera fixed outside the homes of Partridge and Lohan and were captured in the video while breaking in. Later, they were heard bragged about their venture out in the public. Soon after that the two were arrested and didn’t waste a minute in giving out the names of the other members.
All members were arrested in 2009 and are now expecting their sentence soon.