Arrests Made in LA Burglary Ring That Targeted Celebrities

Tom Ozimek
By Tom Ozimek
October 3, 2018USshare

Three teenagers and a woman have been arrested in connection with a string of sophisticated burglaries at the Los Angeles homes of celebrities, actors, athletes, and Hollywood producers.

Victims include athletes Yasiel Puig and Robert Woods, singer Rihanna, and actress Christina Milian, according to Capt. Lillian Carranza of the Los Angeles Police Department’s commercial crimes division.

Carranza told reporters at an Oct. 2 press conference that the arrests led to the discovery of a stash of stolen goods and a list of other celebrities the burglars planned to target.

LAPD officials at a press conference
Police officials brief reporters at a press conference in Los Angeles, on Oct. 2, 2018. (LAPD)

LeBron James, Viola Davis, and Matt Damon were among the names on the list, she said.

Police officers have contacted all of the people on the list to advise them how to “harden” their homes against break-ins.

“Initially it was believed that these homes were being burglarized at random. However, detectives learned that this was not the case,” said Carranza.

“The victims’ homes had been selected based on social media postings, and touring or travel schedules of the owners. The burglars believed no one would be home and that the homes would contain sought-after valuables that they might be interested in,” she said.

stolen goods on display
Recovered stolen items whose owners have not yet been identified, on display at an LAPD press conference on Oct. 2, 2018. (LAPD)

Police officers stopped the three teenagers in Los Angeles on Sept. 28, in an allegedly stolen vehicle.

Inside they found a handgun, designer handbags, expensive watches, jewelry, and thousands of dollars in cash. Carranza said detectives discovered that some of the items matched those that had been reported stolen.

a photo of a stolen firearm
Firerarms were among the recovered stolen items on display at an LAPD press conference on Oct. 2, 2018. Lillian Carranza, Commanding Officer of Commercial Crimes Division, LAPD, said more arrests were expected in connection with the burglaries. (LAPD)

Police also seized $50,000 in cash in one of the suspect’s homes and a pile of Rolex watches, purses, and jewels.

“It was further discovered that a small specialized group of gang members and associates were engaged in these burglaries,” Carranza said.

The teenagers arrested have been identified as Tyress Lavon Williams, 19, Damaji Corey Hall, 18, and Jshawne Lamon Daniels, 19.

Hall’s mother, 34-year-old Ashle Jennifer Hall, was also taken into custody on Sunday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Suspects in the burglary
Ashle Jennifer Hall, 34, and her son Damaji Corey Hall, 18, were among suspects arrested in connection with a burglary crew that police said targeted celebrity homes. (LAPD)

“The group continuously changed their attire and appearance, wearing button-down shirts and driving luxury cars, all while scouting the homes of known celebrities and athletes as potential targets. The suspects referred to this practice as ‘flocking,’ as they flock like birds to areas where the rich and famous reside,” Carranza said.

burglary suspects
Jshawne Lamon Daniels, 19, (left) and Tyress Lavon Williams, 19, were arrested as part of an alleged burglary crew that police said targeted celebrity homes. (LAPD)

She described that the suspects would pull up to target homes in a large vehicle, inside which they would change into comfortable clothes like hoodies, and ransack the homes in a matter of minutes.

They would stash stolen goods in the vehicle and make their getaway before security companies or police could respond to any alarms that were triggered.

“We anticipate additional arrests as time goes on,” Carranza said.

Social Media Made Burglary Easier

Detective Mel Vergara, who led the investigation into the burglaries, said potential thieves are able to target the homes of wealthy celebrities more easily thanks to social media.

“It’s just technology that they’re taking advantage of,” Vergara said, the Times reported. “Entertainers are putting their daily activities on (social media).”

The Los Angeles Police Department released surveillance video on Sept. 26, of a burglary at Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig’s San Fernando Valley home, which marks the fourth time the baseball player’s property has been targeted in 18 months.

The incident was reported around 8 p.m. on Sep. 18, in the 5300 block of Louise Avenue in Encino. The released video shows two suspects with their heads covered ransacking the player’s bedroom.

According to a statement from LAPD, two suspects broke into the residence and found a safe, which they moved from the second floor to the front door entrance and left there. The suspects then fled the scene in a Toyota black sedan with paper plates.

It is estimated that the damage resulting from the burglary cost around $10,000. Police didn’t say what was stolen but noted that the suspects are believed to be the same group of people who attempted to break into the same residence on Aug. 3o around 11 p.m.

There are two other reported burglaries at the baseball player’s house in recent months.

In March of 2017, around $170,000 worth of property was reported stolen from the player’s residence in Sherman Oaks, California. In November of the same year, Puig’s San Fernando Valley home was burglarized, which happened during Game 7 of the World Series.

From The Epoch Times

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