Between October 2008 and August 2009, a band of thieves broke into the homes of several young Hollywood stars, such as Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, Audrina Patridge, and Orlando Bloom, stealing more than $3 million in cash, jewelry, and high-end designer goods.
But these weren’t your typical robbers. They were teenagers from the San Fernando Valley. One thief, Alex Neiers, was even the star of a hit reality show on E!
The press would ultimately call these burglars the ‘Bling Ring’ because of the flashy swag they stole from their victims, then sold online or wore casually around town.
On this week’s episode of the Dirty Money Podcast, Entrepreneur editors Dan Bova and Jon Small rehash the bizarre story of the string of robberies that captivated not just Hollywood—but the world.
In addition to this being a shocking story of greed and privilege, it’s also about the beginning of a new kind of internet celebrity: People who rose to fame not because of their talent but because they were good at generating attention.
The Bling Ring came of age in the early days of social media when nobody truly realized its power and influence. They monitored the accounts of celebrities to find out whether or not they were home, using new tools like google maps to figure out how to break it.
Later, the police would use these same tools to capture the suspects and bring them to justice.
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