Sofia Coppola captured the string of robberies targeting celebrities in 2008 led by Rachel Lee and Nicholas Prugo with the film The Bling Ring. The film chronicles the sharp rise and fall of the crime syndicate led by teenagers, who managed to successfully steal over $3 million dollars in merchandise from elite Hollywood celebrities, including a $2 million jewelry heist from Paris Hilton. And while the film focused on the dangerous behaviors and exploits of the criminal adolescents behind the infamous Bling Ring, it failed to capture the pure obsession that drives individuals to target celebrities and burglarize their homes. According to an article from The Daily Beast, a former member of the bling ring named Alexis Niers commented on this obsession and qualifies it with factoids about materialism within our society.
“This obsession is what makes the Bling Ring so prevalent almost 5 years after the initial robbery took place and it is because I believe, that a majority of society is just as sick as these teens were. We are obsessed, I believe because we want an inside look into the real life of these celebrities and we enjoy publicly scrutinizing people because they “sin” differently than we do. It is a method of distracting us from having to look at our own actions and sick behavioral patterns.”
That same obsession is what drove assailants to tie up and rob Kim Kardashian West at gunpoint in her private residence in Paris, taking over $10 million dollars worth of jewelry late last November. In light of her harrowing experience, we decided to roundup 15 celebrity robberies that you may not have heard of but are equally important. For instance, did you know that Kim Kardashian West isn’t the only Kardashian to have been robbed, or that “The Bling Ring” basically robbed everybody in Hollywood between 2008 and 2009? If you didn’t, check out this awfully costly list.
15. Kanye West Hollywood Hills Home Burglary 2012
While we all know about the armed robbery targeting Kim Kardashian West in Paris last year, a lot of us may not know about the burglary Kanye West experienced in 2012, in the midst of selling his $4 million dollar Hollywood Hills home. According to a report from TMZ, early in the morning on June 13th, 2012, a member of West’s camp made a 911 call to report a break-in. While the report cites that nothing “obvious” was missing, it also states that there was evidence that the thieves dropped some of Kanye’s property on the way out of the house. Kanye was fortunately not at home, as he was in the UK performing alongside Jay-Z.
While no one was hurt during the home invasion, it is certainly important to mention as it helps to round out the timeline of robberies targeting Mr. West and his family, as just four years later his wife would become the victim of an armed robbery. Stories like these really get you thinking about how obsessed both thieves and celebrities are with their property and how vulnerable celebrities are to attacks like these at any moment. Maybe someone has eyes on the Kardashian-West family.
14. Sean Combs’ East Hamptons Home invasion & Burglary 2012
While the majority of home invasions and burglaries targeting celebrities are motivated by financial gain, a great deal of them are also motivated by mentally ill, obsessed and quite frankly, hungry fans. In 2012 the New York Post reported that the Bad Boy Entertainment and Ciroc Vodka CEO was the victim of a home invasion and burglary. But it seems that the intruder wasn’t at the home to steal valuables, as the report states that the suspect, 30-year-old Quamine Brown, broke into Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs East Hamptons residence to steal nothing more than the experience of a lifetime.
Apparently, Brown is a twisted fan and had already broken into the home once before in 2001. This time, Brown found his way in after scaling the home’s security gate and letting himself in through an unlocked basement door. For the next 24 hours he indulged himself in food, alchohol and clothing all belonging to Mr. Comb’s. He almost got caught when he set off an alarm within the home at 1 a.m. in the morning, but he somehow convinced police and representatives from the alarm system company that he had permission to be in the home. He wasn’t caught until 4 p.m. the following day after breaking in the home when a house caretaker found him and called authorities. Brown apparently told authorities that he had been to the home a few times since 2001 and had only traveled to the residence for some much needed R&R. Brown’s mother stated her son has had “a long history of mental illness, and he has been off his meds for a while. We have been trying to get him some help.”
13. Kate Moss’ London Home Art Heist 2010
Back into the swing of money motivated missions, this next entry is as shocking as it was costly to this supermodel. In 2010 Kate Moss’ London home was the target of a high-profile art heist. According to CNN, the burglary happened at approximately 4:20 a.m. on Thursday, May 20th and it is speculated that Moss was not in the residence during the invasion, and she was at a launch event for Topman the previous night.
The authorities reported that three works of art were stolen including a painting rumored to have been by world renowned guerilla street artist Banksy valued at $115,000 dollars. Interestingly enough, two other Banksy artworks totaling $23,000 were stolen from a Gallery in London earlier that month. Luckily though, police apprehended a suspect just a day after the initial break-in. Sadly, not many cases like this one get closure on the situation or the valuables lost because of it so quickly.
12. Kourtney Kardashian’s Calabasas Home Burglary 2009
It seems that the Kardashian family is a would-be target for thieves, given their prominence and mainstay in the public eye. The story goes that in October 2009 Kourtney Kardashian and her boyfriend Scott Disick went to dinner around 7 p.m., only to return to their ransacked Calabasas, California home an hour and a half later. Los Angeles County Sheriff Sgt. Kristy Criner told People Magazine that robbers had burglarized the home of Kourtney Kardashian and made off with approximately $180,000 in jewelry. Among the items stolen was a $30,000 Cartier watch, a Rolex and more. At the time, Kourtney was pregnant with her first child with Disick.
11. Khloe Kardashian’s Tarzana Home
We promise this is the last Kardashian entry on the list, but on the other hand, can you blame us for including this string of unfortunate robberies plaguing one of the richest and most powerful families in Los Angeles? In the section above we mentioned that Kourtney Kardashian had $50,000 stolen from her Calabasas home months before her and Disick were robbed in the Hamptons.
Well, apparently the police thought something fishy was going on as they investigated the heists together for a possible connection. Khloe discovered the burglary had happened as she was cleaning out her home for the new owners with her mother and noticed that her highly valuable assets was missing and called authorities. Rumor has it that both the burglaries were inside jobs and that someone working with the sisters had set the entire thing up. Other rumors suggest the heist was Khloe Kardashian’s estranged husband Lamar Odom’s fault as he owed a pair of powerful drug dealers more than $65,000 dollars and didn’t pay up before he left to play basketball in Spain. Either way, keeping up with the Kardashian family robberies is a job in and of itself considering how consistently this family gets stiffed.
10. Kirsten Dunst SoHo Penthouse Hotel Robbery 2007
These next couple entries prove that celebrities not only have to worry about their homes being targeted for robberies but also themselves. According to NY Daily news, in 2007 Kirsten Dunst was in SoHo shooting scenes for the movie “How To Lose Friends And Alienate People,” when her penthouse suite at the SoHo Grand Hotel in Manhattan was ransacked. While Dunst was shooting the movie, the robber rushed into the actress’ room through an open door and took everything they could get their hands on. It was reported that in total, Dunst had over $15,000 dollars worth of property stolen from her including a $13,000 Balenciaga handbag, an ipod, Credit cards, $2,500 in cash and more. Luckily, camera surveillance caught the criminal fleeing from the scene and as a result, James Jimenez was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison.
9. Usher Atlanta Mall Robbery 2009
This case is terrible and one you hate to hear about because who would have the heart to rob Usher Raymond? The robbery occurred during the holidays as the multi-talented musician was trying to do a good deed and give back to the community by buying gifts for the underprivileged. According to a report from BET, in 2009 Usher was shopping in Lennox Square mall in Atlanta when an Impala pulled next to his Yukon truck and cleaned it out for over $1 million in valuables. That’s right, over $1 million in property, including $50,000 in furs, $1 million in jewelry and two laptops with unreleased music on them. Honestly, with this case, we are not sure what is more baffling, the fact that Usher would carry around this much in property, or that thieves were able to make off with the property so quickly, not to mention that it was just days before Christmas.
8. Lupita Nyong’o Pearl Gown Theft 2015.
This story is one of the most recent on the list as well as one of the most bizarre. According to People, Lupita Nyong’o was staying at the ultra plush London West hotel in Hollywood for the 2015 Oscars when the incident happened. The robbery happened two days after the Oscars when a thief stole the Calvin Klien dress valued at $150,000. The dress featured over 6,000 pearls, but it seems as though something weird was happening. Apparently, the dress thief returned the dress days later claiming that when they took two of the pearls from the dress to the Fashion district in DTLA to have them appraised they were informed that the pearls were fake. Additionally, Calvin Klien also did not press charges in the case. I guess it’s pretty obvious why.
7. Scott Disick & Kourtney Kardashian Hamptons’ Home
Once again, the Kardashian family must have a big bullseye on their family crest as they are continually targets of thieves and criminals in search of stealing riches. This time, crooks got to Scott Disick and Kourtney Kardashian even though they were thousands of miles away from their real home in Calabasas, California. Disick and Kardashian were renting a home in the Hamptons with other members of the Kardashian clan in July when the robbery happened. Apparently, someone stole $4,000 out of an attaché case. This incident was more that five years apart from the burglary at their Calabasas home, but it seems as though nothing changed besides the couples age and number of children as reports also conclude that Kourtney Kardashian had $50,000 stolen from the same Calabasas property.
6. Emily Rossum’ Beverly Glen Home Burglary 2017.
While most of us heard of Nicki Minaj’s home being burglarized in the wave of burglaries terrorizing the San Fernando Valley area most recently, but not a lot of people have heard of Emily Rossum’s home burglary that cost her over $150,000 in damages. According to The LA Times, between March 22nd and 24th Rossum’s home was broken into and thieves managed to steal a safe with an estimated $150,000 in Jewelry and other valuable property. However, it seems as though the “Shameless” star isn’t phased by the robbery and is putting her full stake in with the police to solve the case as she recently thanked LAPD for their hard work investigating the crime stating “Thank you to the LAPD. I fully support the police efforts and dedication.”
5. Willem Dafoe’s Rome, Italy Apartment Burglary 2011.
This case is absolutely crazy, like “Oceans 11” crazy! This is one of those stories that you hear about and think maybe the person who told you is confusing fact with fiction or has mixed up scenes from a movie with real life but it’s hardly that. In May 2011 E Online reported that Dafoe’s apartment in Italy was robbed of $3,000 worth of property by a truly unconventional crook. The report states that the thief used ropes and mountain-climbing gear to hoist themselves into the apartment to get away with the goods. Neither Dafoe nor his wife were home at the time of the robbery but an alarm system alerted authorities to the invasion. While this heist isn’t as costly as some of the other moments on the list, it is still unreal to think that a criminal would go to those lengths to steal.
4. Keri Russell’s Brooklyn Home Invasion 2013.
It is obvious from earlier entries in this list that thieves like to pounce on their prey when they are away from their dens. But this instance is drastically different as Keri Russell was at home when the burglary occurred. In late 2013 Russell was sleeping in her bedroom when burglarers broke into her home at dawn and snatched jewelry, designer handbags and more before the actress woke up to voices and called the police. This situation is equally scary as it is believed that Russell was alone in the home as she was separated from her then husband Shane Deary. The suspects, an uncle and his nephew, were apprehended days later. We can only imagine what may have gone wrong if Russell and the pair of criminals would have come face to face.
3. Jon Bon Jovi New Jersey Home Burglary 2011.
While it is more often than not that celebrities are the main targets of burglaries, sometimes it just so happens that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thus is the case of Jon Bon Jovi’s burglary in 2011. Between March and April Nicholas Trey reportedly robbed several homes on Middletown road, which the famous rocker resides. The thief managed to grab over $300,000 worth of jewelry and other personal items belonging to Bon Jovi. Trey was caught ten days after the last burglary on April 3rd in the midst of another heist at another residence. The power of place is definitely a big piece of this equation. In short, keep it low-key wherever you live.
2. Steve Jobs’ Palo Alto Home Burglary 2012.
Tech giants aren’t immune to the sticky fingers of robbers, even if they are dead! In 2013 35-year-old Karlem McFarlin broke into Steve Jobs Palo Alto home and completely ransacked the place. Apparently, the home was under renovation at the time and that’s when McFarlin took his chance to break in. He managed to initially get away with $70,000 worth of computer, ipads, jewelry and more. Some people just don’t have any shame. Check out the police report detailing the tricked out tech goodies the thief swiped away.
“An iMac and a Mac Mini specially installed for Jobs by an Apple engineer; three iPads including a white device and an iPad 2, three iPods, two iPhones, a small demo-sized MacBook and an Apple TV computer. McFarlin allegedly gave one of the iPads to his daughter and another one to a friend.
In Jobs’ swiped black leather wallet were his California driver’s license, an Apple corporate American Express card, a Titanium Black American Express card and a Bank of America Visa credit card. Jobs, one of the richest people in the world before he died on Oct. 5, had $1 in the wallet.
A key to the Mercedes at the home was taken, but not the car.
Also nabbed from the house were goods bought from the Tiffany’s at Stanford Shopping Center during the 2001 and 2002 holiday seasons: a $33,000 platinum and aqua marine-beads necklace, a platinum diamond necklace with 247 round brilliant diamonds weighing 5 karats, with nine carved aqua marine drops, valued at $28,500, and a $2,950 pair of earrings.”
1. Kendal Jenner Jewelry Robbery 2017.
While we said we wouldn’t use another case from the Kardashian family, what better way to end the list than with another unfortunate instance in the series of unfortunate events in the form of robberies that have ravaged this family for years. This time one of the younger Kardashian’s received her first real taste of burglary as TMZ reports that Kendall Jenner was robbed of over $200,000 in jewelry.
In the report, TMZ claims that the burglary was an inside job and was a result of Jenner partying with friends in her home and leaving them unattended. Some reports claim that Jenner heard an alarm go off and that is what tipped her off, other reports claim that she had friends over Wednesday night and left for a brief time only to return to her jewelry box gone around 1 a.m. At any rate, the robberies that this family has experienced can be traced back to that bigger picture idea that former Bling Ring member Alexis Niers commented on. That idea being the absolute obsession with celebrity lifestyle and material things. Hopefully all of the Kardashians and anyone else on this list learned from these awful experiences and changed accordingly.