A string of celebrity burglaries in the Los Angeles area have targeted singer Nicki Minaj, model Kendall Jenner, reality TV star Khloe Kardashian, rapper Kanye West, socialite Paris Hilton, actress Lindsay Lohan, actor Orlando Bloom, comedian Kevin Hart, Dodger Yasiel Puig and many others.(Los Angeles Times / Associated Press / AFP / Getty)
Thieves stole $50,000 worth of handbags and sunglasses in October 2017 from the Los Angeles mansion of “All I Want For Christmas Is You” singer Mariah Carey.(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
Hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry was stolen in July 2017 from the North Hills home of “Lizzie McGuire” star Hilary Duff.(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Nearly $80,000 in jewelry and cash was stolen from the Beverly Hills home of “Hotel Transylvania” star David Spade when thieves made off with a safe in June 2017.(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Armed robbers stole $1.5 million in jewelry from the Beverly Grove home of rapper A$AP Rocky in May 2017.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
About $200,000 in valuables was stolen from the Hollywood Hills home of model and television personality Kendall Jenner in March 2017.(Valery Hache / AFP/Getty Images)
Thieves made off with $150,000 in jewels from a safe in the Beverly Glen home of “Shameless” actress Emmy Rossum in March 2017.(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
At least $170,000 worth of jewelry and other items were swiped from the Sherman Oaks home of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig in late February or early March of 2017.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
The Brentwood mansion of “Ironic” singer Alanis Morissette was broken into by burglars who stole a safe containing $2 million in jewelry and other valuables in February 2017.(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
Burglars stole $500,000 in valuables from the Tarzana home of then-Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young in February 2017 while he was competing in a shooting contest at the NBA’s All-Star weekend in New Orleans.(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
More than $300,000 in jewelry was stolen from the Tarzana home of former Los Angeles Laker Derek Fisher in January 2017.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Burglars stole $175,000 in jewelry and other valuables from the Westside home of “Anaconda” singer Nicki Minaj in late 2016 or early 2017.(Kathy Willens / AP)
Thieves took $500,000 in valuables from the Tarzana home of “Ride Along” actor and comedian Kevin Hart in June 2016.(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
Burglars stole $200,000 in cash and jewelry from the Tarzana home of model Blac Chyna in May 2016.(Paras Griffin / Getty Images for BET)
Armed robbers took $50,000 in cash from a safe in the San Fernando Valley home of “Kiss Kiss” singer Chris Brown in July 2015.(Theo Wargo / Getty Images for TIDAL)
The Toluca Lake home of “Wrecking Ball” singer Miley Cyrus has been burglarized at least three times, with thieves stealing jewelry and her Maserati Quattroporte in May 2014.(Laura Roberts / Laura Roberts/Invision/AP)
Thieves stole $250,000 in jewelry from the vacant Tarzana home of reality TV star Khloe Kardashian and former Los Angeles Laker Lamar Odom in March 2014 after the estranged couple put the house on the market.(Evan Agostini / AP)
Thieves attempted to break into the Pacific Palisades mansion of Grammy-winning singer Rihanna in September 2013 but were scared away by a burglar alarm.(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Burglars broke into the Hollywood Hills home of Kanye West while the “Gold Digger” rapper was touring in June 2012 but fled before stealing anything.(Justin Lane / EPA)
Thieves broke into the Calabasas townhouse of reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian in Oct. 2009 and stole $80,000 in jewelry.(Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images)
A safe was stolen from the Hollywood Hills home of Duran Duran guitarist John Taylor in April 2007.(Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)
The Westside mansion of country music stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill was hit by burglars in Feb. 2007 while the couple was in Tennessee.(Beatrice de Gea / Los Angeles Times)
The Bling Ring used gossip magazines and social media accounts of the stars to steal more than $3 million in 2008 and 2009 from socialite Paris Hilton, “Pirates of the Caribbean” star Orlando Bloom, “Mean Girls” actress Lindsay Lohan and other celebrities.(Los Angeles Times / Getty)
Celebrity homes have long been easy targets for burglars looking for lucrative scores.
Nearly a decade ago, it was the “Bling Ring,” a group of young people who used gossip magazine, online star maps and celebrities’ own social media accounts to target the riches of socialite Paris Hilton, actors Orlando Bloom and Lindsay Lohan and others to the tune of more than $3 million.
A few years later, another ring of burglars hit the hillside estates. Officials believe they made off with more than $7 million, stealing safes, rare books and jewels from the likes of singers Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, former Hollywood executive Sherry Lansing and Duran Duran’s John Taylor.
Over the last few months, there has been a new rash of celebrity break-ins, but officials aren’t sure if there is another ring on the loose or whether the cases are unrelated.
Is it a mere coincidence that the homes of singer Alanis Morissette and Lakers star Nick Young were hit in recent weeks? The burglars took safes that officials said were filled with contents worth $2 million and $500,000, respectively.
We don’t think any of the celebrity burglary cases are related.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti this week seemed to downplay the prospect of another crew preying on the rich and famous,
“I spoke to Chief Beck about this,” he said about the Los Angeles police chief. “We don’t think any of the celebrity burglary cases are related.”
But law enforcement sources familiar with the investigations said officials are still not sure about any links. There are some similarities among the cases, they said, but evidence is still being gathered.
These crimes are more than simple burglaries. The Commercial Crimes Division’s Burglary Section is investigating the break-ins.
In the Feb. 18 or 19 burglary of Young’s home, someone broke in through a rear window and pulled the safe from a wall.
“Someone came prepared to get that safe,” said one LAPD official familiar with the probe but was not authorized to discuss specifics. “Someone knew something.”
At the time of the burglary, Young was competing in a shooting contest at the NBA’s All-Star weekend. The Morissette burglary Feb. 9 also saw a thief or thieves make off with a safe that contained about $2 million worth of vintage jewels. Some of that jewelry had appeared on social media posts by the singer.
Puig was at spring training in Arizona when a collection of high-end watches and jewelry worth $170,000 were taken.
Minaj and Fisher were also out of town when their homes were hit.
Likewise in 2016, burglars made off with $500,000 in valuables from comedian Kevin Hart’s Tarzana home, a slew of pricey watches from TV personality Scott Disick’s Hidden Hills home and $200,000 from model Blac Chyna’s Tarzana house.
Los Angeles police Deputy Chief Bob Green said that beyond the burglaries of celebrities’ homes in the San Fernando Valley, the department has launched a task force to apprehend offenders, many of whom come from criminal street gangs.
A similar task force in 2012 helped arrest and convict dozens of burglars many associated with South L.A. gangs that came to the Valley looking for targets in such places as Studio City, Sherman Oaks and Woodland Hills.
Overall, burglaries dropped across L.A. nearly 4% last year compared to 2015. They are down 1.2% during the first three months of 2017.
But LAPD Capt. Paul Vernon said in Topanga Division the number of burglaries south of Ventura Boulevard jumped about 50%, but they have been curtailed this year thanks to vigilant residents and tactics like undercover details. Overall, the division saw a 6.2% climb in burglaries in 2016.
Recently, officers in an unmarked surveillance car saw a man wandering into driveways south of Ventura Boulevard; the man was then picked up by four men in a van, Vernon said.
Police stopped the men, who claimed to be selling magazine subscriptions. Vernon said all the men were from out of state, and investigators suspect they were casing homes for burglaries.
Vernon said his division had seen several burglaries in recent months in which the thieves targeted safes and the victims were not famous. “We just have a lot of homes with safes,” he said.