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Notorious Burglar Bunch Member Everyone Knows My Name But I'm Changing all That

7/25/2016 12:30 AM PDT

A member of the infamous Burglar Bunch wants a do-over ... with her name. 

Courtney Ames filed docs to change her name to Courtney Shields. As for why ... she says it's to honor her stepdad. Courtney says Mr. Shields "has been in my life since I was 7 and is more of a father to me than my own father." 

Now there's clearly a bonus, because Courtney Ames is notorious as a member of the burglary ring that targeted a bunch of celebs, including Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Orlando Bloom.  Her crimes are chronicled all over Google, so the change could get her a job at Walmart for sure.

A judge will decide next month if Courtney becomes Ms. Shields. 

Hart, Disick, Brown, Chyna Targets of New Bling Ring?

6/20/2016 1:00 AM PDT

A 2016 version of the Bling Ring may be prowling Hollywood and other areas where celebs live ... law enforcement sources tell TMZ.

As we reported, Kevin Hart, Chris Brown, Scott Disick and Blac Chyna are among the celebs who have been hit. Our law enforcement sources tell us, there are markers in all of the burglaries that make detectives think the crimes are related.

Most important ... Hart, Brown, Disick and Chyna all run in the same circle ... Kevin not as much as the others. Cops say all 4 were hit when they were out of town. The burglars zeroed in on jewelry and, when there were large sums of cash in a safe, the bad guys knew exactly where to look. 

Cops believe the burglars may know their targets, and cops are worried this is just the beginning. We're told the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. that covers Calabasas and Hidden Hills has put the word out to LAPD's Hollywood division to be on the lookout for the burglars, especially in the hills.

We're told so far ... no suspects.

'Bling Ring' Leader Miley's Burglars Are Idiots!!

9/24/2014 8:49 AM PDT

Miley Cryus was burglarized by halfwit amateurs who had no business breaking into the star's home -- this according to one of the masterminds of Hollywood's Bling Ring robberies.

Nick Prugo -- who served prison time for his famed string of celebrity heists --  tells TMZ he's not impressed by Naomi Charles and Tylor Scott ... who said the Bling Ring inspired them to break into Miley's house.

Prugo calls them "morons" ... and says if they learned anything from the Bling Ring, "it should've been that stealing is wrong and karma always comes back around."

Hindsight -- Prugo's is pretty good.

Nick Prugo Bling Ring Ringleader Sentenced to Jail ... Again

3/28/2014 5:17 PM PDT

Nick Prugo
-- who masterminded the Bling Ring string of heists on L.A. celebs -- has just been sentenced to 160 days in jail for violating his parole.

TMZ broke the story ... Nick got dragged into a murder-for-hire case involving the skin care specialist to the stars, who allegedly solicited a former Detroit Lions' player to kill one of her competitors.

When the skin care lady was arrested, she dropped a dime on Nick, telling cops she was friends with him and he had left California in violation of his parole.

Nick served prison time for his role in the Bling Ring cases. 

In the current case ... the judge mentioned that Nick may have also committed credit card fraud.

History repeats itself.

'Bling Ring' Leader Arrested Murder-For-Hire Suspect Ratted Him Out

3/17/2014 12:50 AM PDT

10:10 AM PT -- Law enforcement sources tell us ... contrary to a report ... Prugo was NOT in possession of a gun.

The guy who masterminded the "Bling Ring" robberies was arrested Friday ... after the skin specialist to the stars charged in a murder-for-hire plot dropped a dime on him.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Dawn DaLuise was interviewed by cops after she was arrested for allegedly attempting to hire a member of the Detroit Lions to kill the owner of a rival skin shop.   During the interrogation she sang like a canary.

Our sources say Dawn told cops she was being harassed online by a man named Edward Feinstein -- who she claims posted several fake online personal ads under her name.

According to sources ... Dawn told cops Feinstein's roommate was none other than Nick Prugo -- and said he recently violated parole by traveling out of state without permission.

Law enforcement sources tell us after Prugo's name came up -- officials investigated information and arrested him on the violation.

Prugo is NOT accused of any involvement in the murder-for-hire plot.

He remains in jail with no bail.

Paris Hilton Wannabe Bling Ring Tried to Burgle Me!

8/4/2013 12:30 AM PDT

Paris Hilton suffered a case of deja vu all over again when a pack of chicks snuck into her casa and tried to steal her stuff -- but rather than make off with millions like the "bling ring" ... these crooks failed miserably.

Sources tell TMZ ... the attempted snatch job went down when Paris threw herself a going away party at her Malibu beach house last weekend -- the send-off before she jetted to Ibiza.

We're told a group of random girls crashed the party, snuck into P's bedroom, and tried to jack bikinis, Paris Hilton handbags and framed pics. Not exactly primo swag.

Problem is ... we're told the banditos got spooked when someone spotted them, and while making their getaway ... they dropped all the loot.

A valet found the goods down the road from Paris' house and turned it all over to cops.

Paris' driver picked up the stuff. No police report was filed.

Not exactly Sofia Coppola material.

Burglar Bunch Ringleader Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison

10/25/2011 11:37 AM PDT

Rachel Lee
-- the mastermind behind the infamous Burglar Bunch gang -- has been sentenced to 4 years in prison ... for raiding Audrina Patridge's Hollywood Hills home back in 2009.

21-year-old Lee pleaded no contest to one count of first degree residential burglary last month ... after she was accused of entering Patridge's home through an unlocked door on the night of the Academy Awards.

Lee was accused of taking around $43k worth of items from the home -- including Audrina's passport, various pieces of jewelry, a laptop and designer jeans.

4 other members of the gang are still awaiting trial for allegedly taking part in burglarizing the homes of Orlando Bloom, Megan Fox, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan between Sept. 2008 and August 2009.

Another fun fact -- Lee was sentenced to precisely the same prison term Conrad Murray will get if the book is thrown at him.

Burglar Bunch Reunites ... for Indictment

7/2/2010 3:45 PM PDT
Nearly all the alleged members of the Burglar Bunch were back in court today -- after getting indicted by the L.A. County Grand Jury for a string of celebrity burglaries.

Nick Prugo, Rachel Lee, Diana Tamayo, Courtney Leigh Ames and Roy Lopez Jr. were all indicted on the following charges:

Prugo -- Seven counts of first-degree residential burglary, one count conspiracy
Lee -- Two counts of first-degree residential burglary, two counts receiving stolen property, one count conspiracy
Tamayo -- One count first-degree residential burglary, one count receiving stolen property, one count conspiracy
Ames -- One count first-degree residential burglary, two counts receiving stolen property, one count conspiracy
Lopez Jr. -- One count first-degree residential burglary, one count receiving stolen property, one count conspiracy

The group has already been charged by the D.A. with the various crimes against Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Megan Fox, Brian Austin Green, Audrina Patridge, and Rachel Bilson.

Sources say prosecutors were fed up with the objections by defense lawyers over the preliminary hearing, so the D.A. took the case to the Grand Jury.  Now the case will go straight to trial, without a preliminary hearing.

They're all due back in court on August 12.

Meanwhile ... in a jail nearby ... Burglar Bunch member Alexis Neiers is currently serving her six-month sentence.

'Pretty Wild' Star Heads into Court ... Then Jail

6/24/2010 12:15 PM PDT
"Pretty Wild" star and Burglar Bunch member Alexis Neiers just walked into an L.A. court a free woman ... and will soon walk out an inmate of the L.A. County jail.

Neiers -- who pled no contest in May to the burglary of Orlando Bloom's home -- was sentenced to spend six months behind bars. Today, she is turning herself in to authorities to begin her sentence.

According to a detective's testimony back in December, Neiers admitted to being drunk the night of the burglary ... and said she threw up and peed in Orlando's bushes.

UPDATE 9:59 AM PT: The judge just ordered Alexis to spend 180 days behind bars -- as expected -- with 4 days credit. Her parents stood up and waved goodbye. Alexis will be heading to the women's jail in Lynwood, CA -- the same place Paris Hilton spent time behind bars in 2007.

UPDATE 9:15 AM PT: Alexis -- along with her mother and father -- are in court.

Burglar Bunch Suspected Leader -- I Didn't Do It

2/3/2010 2:45 PM PST
Burglar Bunch suspect Rachel Lee followed suit of the rest of her alleged cohorts -- and just pled not guilty in court to five felonies stemming from a string of celebrity home break-ins.

Lee -- who cops believe is the "master mind" of the group -- is charged with three counts of residential burglary and two counts of receiving stolen property and is accused of pilfering from Paris Hilton, Audrina Patridge and Lindsay Lohan's pads.

Five of the other alleged members of the Bunch -- Nick Prugo, Alexis Neiers, Diana Tamayo, Courtney Ames and Roy Lopez, Jr. -- face a total of 12 counts of felony first degree residential burglary.

Burglar Bunch Suspects We Didn't Do It!

12/2/2009 2:30 PM PST
The Hollywood Hills Burglar Bunch are really just a bunch of innocent kids ... or at least kids who have now officially pled not guilty.

Nick Prugo was in court today and pled not guilty to eight felony burglaries.

Diana Tamayo -- not guilty to two felony burglaries.

Courtney Ames and Roy Lopez Jr. -- not guilty to one felony burglary.

Bail for Prugo and Tamayo was set at $20,000 -- for Lopez and Ames it was $50,000.

The gang will have a courtroom reunion in January.

The Dumbest Fashion Faux Pas Ever

11/21/2009 4:15 AM PST
It doesn't get much dumber than this -- one of the chicks arrested in the Burglar Bunch case rolled into court Friday wearing one of the very necklaces the gang is suspected of stealing from Lindsay Lohan.

Didn't take Sherlock Holmes to notice -- investigators immediately confiscated the necklace from Courtney Ames' neck because it looked just like the one stolen from Lindsay Lohan's home ... in fact, we already did a story about Courtney wearing the same exact necklace last week

Ames had already told TMZ that she bought the rosary beads for five bucks at some shop, but today she told authorities the charm on the necklace was given to her by another member of the bunch -- i.e. it may have been stolen from someone at some point.

Affidavit: Burglary Suspect Ratted on the Rest

11/6/2009 6:07 PM PST
A Hollywood Hills Burglar Bunch suspect ratted out the other alleged members of the group, this according to a search warrant affidavit just released out of Las Vegas.

According to the document ... after Nick Prugo was arrested, he met with detectives and "provided a full confession and implicated several other suspects: Rachel Lee, Dianna Tomayo [sic], Alexis Neiers, Courtney Ames, Jonathan Ajar and a man only known as Roy."

In the doc, it says Prugo admitted to committing all of the burglaries and that Rachel Lee was with him during the burglaries of Audrina Patridge, Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bilson and Paris Hilton.

Also, "Prugo stated that Lee was the driving force of the burglar crew and that her motivation was based in her desire to own the designer wardrobes of the Hollywood celebrities that she admired."

On the burglary of Paris' residence: "Prugo stated they entered Hilton's residence approximately three times, prior to the burglary in December 2008. That they removed cash, narcotics and thousands of dollars worth of jewelry to include family heirlooms."

On the burglary of Orlando's residence: "Prugo detailed how the crew removed several expensive wristwatches, artwork, men's and women's clothing from the location." On the burglary of Bilson's residence: "Prugo stated that he burglarized the residence a total of three (3) separate times ... he was able to access the residence through an unlocked side door ... Prugo estimated that he and Lee removed approximately $200,000 to $300,000 worth of Chanel merchandise."

On the burglary of Audrina's residence: "Prugo stated that he, Lee and Tamayo entered the residence through an unlocked door ... he first saw video surveillance of he and Lee committing the crime posted on the celebrity website, TMZ."

On the burglary of Lohan's residence: "Prugo stated that he was apprehensive because he was aware that the residence was equipped with surveillance video" and was scared of being busted again. "Lee chastised Prugo for his caution and stated, 'You're already here. You might as well come inside and get something for yourself.'"

Now this is interesting: In the doc, it says Prugo claimed Lee's father knew about their illegal activities and gave them the following advice on how to elude arrest: "Bury the stolen property in the Nevada desert and for Prugo to join the military."
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