Four more suspects charged in celebrity 'bling ring' burglary case [Updated]
Prosecutors have charged four more suspects in connection with at least 10 break-ins at the homes of young Hollywood celebrities, a group that now includes Brian Austin Green, Ashley Tisdale and Megan Fox.
In announcing the charges, prosecutors said the ring netted the suspects more than $3 million in designer clothes, jewelry and other accessories. [Updated at 3:30 p.m.: This post has been updated throughout to reflect new developments.]
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office charged Diana Tamayo, 19, of Newbury Park with two counts of residential burglary. Courtney Ames, 18, of Calabasas; Alexis Neiers, 18, of Thousand Oaks; and Roy Lopez, 27, of Reseda, were charged with one count each of residential burglary. Prosecutors did not charge Rachel Lee, 18, who was arrested recently in Las Vegas in connection with the celebrity crime spree.
Police also identified Jonathan "Johny Dangerous" Ajar, 27, as a suspect and said they have issued a warrant for his arrest on charges that include sale and possession of drugs, possession of firearms and ammunition by a felon, possession of body armor and receiving stolen property.
Ajar, who served five years in federal prison for drug trafficking, is believed to have been the ring's fence, sources said. A search of Ajar's apartment Oct. 22 turned up multiple weapons, stashes of cocaine and body armor, officials said.
Ajar, who drives a BMW and is known as a club promoter, might be in Arizona, said Los Angeles Police Officer Brett Goodkin.
"This is a very dangerous fugitive wanted for possession of firearms and narcotics who has served federal prison time," he said.
Nicholas Frank Prugo, 18, has already been charged in connection with burglaries at the homes of Lindsay Lohan and Audrina Patridge.
The group studied television shows, celebrity magazines and websites, picking out clothing and jewelry they wanted, according to Los Angeles police detectives.
They then figured out where the celebrities lived and, after casing the homes, broke in and took what they wanted, detectives said. The suspects allegedly staked out the residences, sometimes more than once, the detectives added.
Besides Patridge and Lohan, victims of the ring were among a "pantheon of young celebrities" including Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom and Rachel Bilson.
A security expert for some of the celebrities targeted said they were "severely shaken by the personal invasion of privacy." During search warrants, sources say, dozens of items belonging to the stars were found in various homes.
The ring pulled off at least 10 burglaries from October 2008 to September, stealing millions of dollars in designer clothes, jewelry and other accessories, police said. Investigators are still piecing together the case, but said the women attended Indian Hills Continuation High School in Agoura Hills and had a taste for the luxury goods and accessories young celebrities wore. [Updated at 3:41 p.m.: An earlier version of this post misspelled Agoura in Agoura Hills.]
The break in the case came in early September after a burglary a month earlier at Lohan's Hollywood Hills home. Lohan and Patridge provided police with video surveillance footage of their burglaries, leading to Prugo's arrest.
-- Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton
Photo: Items recovered in celebrity "bling ring" case. Credit: Los Angeles Police Department.
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