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4 charged with burglarizing celeb homes

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Los Angeles prosecutors on Wednesday charged four people with being part of a group accused of stealing more than $3 million in luxury goods from the homes of Hollywood celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom and Megan Fox.

Felony residential burglary charges were filed against three women and one man: Alexis Neiers, Courtney Ames, Diana Tamayo and Roy Lopez Jr. They range in age from 18 to 27.

Prosecutors also added five burglary counts against Nicholas Prugo, who was charged earlier this month with breaking into the homes of Lohan and Audrina Patridge of “The Hills.”

The five are suspected of being part of a group that broke into celebrities’ homes and stole more than $3 million in designer clothes, jewelry and other accessories, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. They’re accused of stealing from Bloom, Lohan, Fox, Patridge, Paris Hilton, Rachel Bilson and others.

Authorities have said Rachel Lee, 18, also is a suspect in the case. Prosecutors have declined to file charges against her pending further investigation.

Prugo now faces seven counts of first-degree residential burglary. He is suspected of being involved in the December break-in at Hilton’s home along with Lopez and Ames and a July burglary at Bilson’s home.

The complaint accuses him of two burglaries after his arrest in September, including a break-in at the home of Fox and actor-boyfriend Brian Austin Green.

Prugo’s attorney, Sean Erenstoft, on Tuesday downplayed his client’s role in the burglaries, saying the 18-year-old had a “very limited role” in the break-ins. He declined to elaborate but said Prugo was pleased that others had been caught.

“He commends the LAPD for apprehending the major culprits in this case and that property is being returned to the victims.”Erenstoft did not return an e-mail message seeking comment after additional charges were filed Wednesday.
Neiers, who is filming a pilot for a reality show, is suspected of being involved in a July burglary at Bloom’s home. Neiers’ attorney, Jeffery K. Rubenstein, issued a statement Tuesday that said his client “was at the wrong place at the wrong time.” He did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment Wednesday.

Tamayo’s father said he had no comment on the case and declined to say whether she has an attorney. She is accused of participating in burglaries at the homes of Lohan and “High School Musical” actress Ashley Tisdale.

Attempts to reach Ames and Lopez were unsuccessful.

A publicist for Hilton said the heiress has recovered some of her property.

Publicists for Patridge and Bilson declined to comment. Publicists for Bloom, Fox, Lohan and Tisdale did not return messages seeking comment.

All the suspects are due in court next month. It is unclear when prosecutors will decide whether to charge Lee, who was arrested in Las Vegas last week.

Source: The Associated Press

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