Southern California -- this just in

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

Four in alleged 'bling ring' plead not guilty to break-ins at celebrity homes

December 2, 2009 | 12:10 pm

Four accused members of the "bling ring" that targeted the homes of young Hollywood celebrities pleaded not guilty today to a variety of charges connected to a string of burglaries that netted more than $3 million in designer clothes, accessories and jewelry.

Nicholas Frank Prugo, 19, of Calabasas; Diana Tamayo, 19, of Newbury Park; Courtney Leigh Ames, 19, of Calabasas; and Roy Lopez Jr., 27, of Reseda, are charged with taking part in various burglaries at the homes of celebrities including Orlando Bloom, Brian Austin Green, Rachel Bilson, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Audrina Patridge.

Prugo is charged with seven burglaries and has identified the other participants in the burglary ring, according to court records. His attorney has asked that his case be separated from the others because his statement implicating them has been made public.

Prugo and Tamayo allegedly burglarized Bloom's home July 13 along with Alexis Christine Neiers, 18, of Thousand Oaks, who was ordered Tuesday to stand trial. Another woman who allegedly participated in that burglary, Rachel Lee, 18, of Las Vegas, has been arrested but not charged.

Tamayo also was charged with a burglary at Lohan’s home Aug. 23, and with a break-in at Ashley Tisdale’s house July 1. Ames, Lopez and Prugo also allegedly broke into Hilton's home in December 2008.

Neiers is due back in court Dec. 15 for arraignment.

-- Richard Winton

More breaking news in L.A. Now:

Former Compton basketball coach won't be retried on charge of meeting a minor for a lewd purpose

Gardena man allegedly shoots teen for taking shortcut through his yard

Mistrial declared in '49th Street Massacre' that shook South L.A.

Contest for next Assembly speaker tightens