Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Hollywood Bling Ring

The Beginning

It started small. Originally, the crew weren't targeting people like Paris Hilton. They were just checking cars.

Prugo (left) interviewed on Good Morning America
Prugo (left) interviewed on Good Morning
Prugo told Good Morning America, "It was a shared responsibility, there was a team of us. It didn't just happen overnight, this was built up over a year and a half and it escalated. It started out small, [breaking into] cars, little things."

He told Vanity Fair that they would simply troll for the luxury vehicles in expensive neighborhoods: anyone that was dumb enough to leave the door unlocked would be robbed, often they'd find credit cards, which they'd use to go shopping at tony Hollywood boutiques like Kitson's. In Prugo's case, the cash helped fuel his cocaine addiction, for which he says he's now getting treatment.

But that wasn't enough.

Prugo told Vanity Fair that Lee was his best friend at Indian Hills High School in the Valley. According to the magazine, he was "a troubled kid" who was on several different psychiatric medications, including Zoloft. In Prugo, according to Vanity Fair, Lee had found a respite from her tough North Korean immigrant mother, with whom she didn't get along.

Rachel Lee
Rachel Lee
Prugo told the press that Lee was obsessed with Hollywood celebs and wanted to wear what they wore: targets to rob came to be picked based on how they dressed. Lee allegedly wanted their designer shoes and their designer clothes; she wanted to shop in the trendy shops where Paris bought her gear. He told Vanity Fair that Lee thought Lindsay Lohan was "a fashion icon."

Spurred by his friend's desires and by what he says was overwhelming peer pressure, Prugo went along on the spree. When asked why his band committed the crimes, Prugo told Good Morning America, "There's a lot of factors. Obviously there was the thrill of it. These were people I trusted, they were my best friends and it was the peer pressure, trying to please them and keep my friends."

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