Ten men who are presumed to be gang members were arrested and charged in connection with a string of Hollywood burglaries at the homes of celebrities such as Rihanna, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods.
The string of robberies first started in Oct. 2017 and continued until Oct. 9, 2018. The burglaries, said police, followed a pattern called "flocking," which meant the suspects went to celebrities' neighborhoods while driving luxury vehicles and wearing nice clothes. They would then change into casual clothing use a different larger vehicle to transport stolen goods.
One suspect would typically knock or ring a doorbell to check if anyone was home before breaking into a residence and robbing the place in just a few minutes.
"During recent months, the Los Angeles Police Department has become aware of a series of residential burglaries targeting actors, producers, musicians and professional athletes living in the Los Angeles area," LADP Capt. Lillian Carranza told NBC News 4 Los Angeles. "Initially, it was believed that these homes were being burglarized at random. However, detectives learned that this wasn't the case. The victims' homes had been selected based on social media postings and touring or travel schedules of the owners. The burglars believed no one would be home and that the homes would contain sought after valuables that they might be interested in.
Tyress Williams, 19, was initially arrested by Los Angeles police and charged in connection with the burglaries.
Jshawne Daniels, 19 and Damaji Hall, 18, — who were arrested, released, then subsequently re-arrested — were charged, along with Hassan Deontre Murphy, 19, Joseph Holley, 22, Lance Williams, 18, Devin Garner, 24, Ron Simmons, 20, Donnie Faizon, 21, and Elan Lamberto Gabourel, 25.
The men are charged with criminal street gang conspiracy, along with numerous other counts, including first-degree residential burglary, home invasion robbery, first-degree residential robbery and attempted burglary.
All 10 defendants are reputed gang members, according to Deputy District Attorney Richard Ceballos.
Investigators said in October that they also recovered a list of additional public figures, including Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and actors Matt Damon and Viola Davis, who were also targeted for future break-ins.
(Photos from left: Caroline McCredie/Getty Images for Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)