Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Defendant in 'Hillside Burglaries' sentenced to 17 years in prison

A leader of the so-called "Hillside Burglars," believed reponsible for more than 150 break-ins targeting some of Los Angeles' wealthiest neighborhoods, was sentenced to 17 years in state prison, authorities said Thursday.

Police said Troy Corsby Thomas, 47, was a leader of the burglary crew that purloined $10 million worth of goods from homes in the so-called Platinum Triangle -- Bel-Air, Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills -- and in the hills above Encino and Sherman Oaks between 2006 and 2009. He pleaded no contest to one count of first-degree residential burglary.

The plea deal by the self-described auto broker came as jurors were being selected in the case. He was facing six counts of felony first-degree residential burglary. Under the agreement approved by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Antonio Baretto, Thomas also must pay $675,000 to victims in the case.

For a time, police were confounded by the string of burglaries in the communities on either side of the Hollywood Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains -- home to many celebrities, corporate titans and studio chiefs.

The burglars usually wore black clothes, ski masks and gloves when breaking into homes. They usually struck at night and on weekends, while homeowners were out of town, police said. The suspects evaded security systems and cameras in all but one break-in.

The only time the burglars were caught on a security camera was at an Encino estate. The tape shows a brief image of two muscular men without their masks, police said. But their faces were difficult to see.

Police believe the burglary crew targeted the homes of former Paramount Pictures chief Sherry Lansing and her director husband, William Friedkin. They also stole $500,000 in cash and jewelry from the Bel-Air mansion of Clippers star Cuttino Mobley.

Duran Duran guitarist John Taylor and his wife, Juicy Couture President Gela Nash-Taylor, had a safe stolen from their Hollywood Hills home, the sources said. The home of country singers Tim McGraw and Faith Hill was hit while the couple was out of town.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office did not bring any charges in connection with those cases because of lack of evidence. Officials said they believe that Thomas was responsible for dozens more crimes than he was ultimately charged with.

Police investigating the burglaries got their break in the case when they found some stolen safes that had been dumped in Box Canyon. They also recovered DNA evidence at the scene of a burglary, which led to members of the crew, notably Thomas.

-- Andrew Blankstein

Comments () | Archives (9)

Real SCUM. Should have been 77 years. He'll be out in no time, terrorizing residential properties and their owners all over again. I guess we'll never learn how to deal with this kind of pure trash.

Because I'm sure none of these people that owned these valuable got them through less than legal means... There's all sorts of thieves

$600k for $10M? Crime does pay. Too bad he will be out on parole in a few years.

hope he rots in prison

What a long name!! - Juicy Couture President Gela Nash-Taylor

All of these burglary idiots should be getting 17 years...When he get out he should be deported to Somalia...

This is why as homeowners we need to possess our SHOTGUNS and PISTOLS to be the JUDGE ,JURY AND EXECUTIONER

17 years isn't long enough!

I don't feel sorry for the victims for flaunting their excesses in heel, gem, and nose to the public. By the way, seems these robberies always take place when such and such celebrity is out of town. Makes me think these people don't even live here, and the house is just another ring on the finger.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: