It’s a criminal tale that reads like “Catch Me If You Can.” At its center: a thief of antique silver alleged to have burgled 500 homes over 30 years (including that of Ivanka Trump) and the retired detective who spent his career trailing him. Blane Nordahl was arrested yesterday in a small town in north Florida, thanks in part to the dogged efforts of Lonnie Mason, a former NJ detective who twice captured Nordahl and who tipped Atlanta police off to the 51-year-old after noticing a pattern of Southern burglaries via Internet reports—as many as 70 this year, reports the Athens Banner-Herald. Among them: A 1734 silver mug once sipped by George II, slipped out of an Atlanta home via a removed windowpane; and silver spoons made by Paul Revere that disappeared from a NC plantation home whose alarm system was deactivated. Read more at Newser…
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Two abortion clinics have recently experienced suspicious fires, so the FBI announced on Wednesday that it will investigate the incidents as arson.
The first occurred at Atlanta Gynecology and Obstetrics on Sunday; The second fire occurred at the Alpha OB/GYN clinic in Marietta, Georiga on Wednesday. Thankfully no one was hurt in either incident. Keep reading »
In recent months, there’s been a rise in burglaries at hair salons catering to African American clientele. But thieves aren’t stealing money or expensive equipment — they’re taking hair extensions, specifically silky, expensive human hair that clients pay top dollar for. At the My Trendy Place salon in Houston, Texas, thieves made off with more than $150,000 worth of the stuff. Another $10,000 in hair was stolen from a San Diego shop, $85,000 from a business in Missouri City, Texas, and $60,000 from a salon in San Leandro, California. In most cases, the thieves overlooked the cheap synthetic hair the salons carried and went straight for the real stuff.
So, apparently, Lauren Conrad, Kristin Cavallari and crew didn’t just waste countless hours of our time when we watched them on “Laguna Beach.” They also sparked a crime wave in their hometown. Two assistant professors at Occidental College were interested in the question of whether reality TV attracted delinquency to an area, and decided to use Laguna Beach as a test case. When they analyzed crime data from the town, they found that between the years of 2004 and 2006, when the show was on the air, that crime did indeed increase. There was an average of 50 more non-residential burglaries a month and about one more rape every three months. Meanwhile, in a nearby almost identical town, there was no spike in crime over this time. Also interesting—that it’s non-residential robberies which increased in Laguna rather than break-ins. Their theory? Because the homes shown on TV were generally gated. [Newser, AOL News]
Meet Alexis Neiers, the quintessential L.A. party kid: Her mom is a former Playboy Playmate, her dad was the director of photography on “Friends” and she lives on a pretty street in Westlake Village with her mom and a party girl pal, 20-year-old Tess Taylor, a Playboy Cyber Girl. Neiers and Taylor hit up L.A. night life hot spots so much that E! offered the girls a reality show, “Pretty Wild,” airing this March.
If things had gone differently for Neiers, “Pretty Wild” could have set her on a course to become the next Paris Hilton. But this is where the story gets weird: Neiers and friends are actually “the bling ring,” a group of 18- and 19-year-old burglars who Los Angeles police have linked to multiple burglaries of celebrities’ homes, including Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Bilson, Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox, Audrina Patridge, and Orlando Bloom. Now, Vanity Fair reports, “Pretty Wild” is not so much about the L.A. party scene as it is following Neiers’ seems-to-be-destined path to jail. Keep reading »
We’re all relieved that Rachel Bilson may soon get her jeans back—I just don’t know if she’ll want them now that they’ve been worn by someone else. We’re also glad that Paris Hilton has already picked up of big chunk of the $2 million-worth of jewelry stolen from her home. In September, we reported that 18-year-old Nicholas Prugo had been arrested on suspicion that he took part in the burglaries of Lindsay Lohan and Audrina Partridge’s cribs, and we speculated on how long before he turned in his well-accessorized conspirators. Well, now the jig is up for Prugo’s fantastically dressed teen gang. Four teens have been charged in the robberies, and police expect to charge three more. Keep reading »
- Sasha and Malia Obama received their shots against H1N1, after vaccination questions flooded the White House. [New York Times]
- The LAPD is concerned about paparazzi after a series of break-ins at stars’ homes. [Los Angeles Times]
- It’s been a bad week for the Church of Scientology. Director Paul Haggis broke ties over Scientology’s stance on gay rights The Wrap, while a French court convicted the group of fraud. [Yahoo] — What would Xenu do?
Lately, there’s been a rash of Hollywood starlets’ homes getting robbed. In February, a pair of burglars broke in to Audrina Patridge‘s house, and took off with several bags full of her clothes and accessories. In May, a thief rifled through Rachel Bilson‘s closet and took clothes, shoes, handbags, and jewelry. Then, in late August, Lindsay Lohan’s home was burglarized while she was out of town. Her security cameras caught three people—a man and two women swathed in scarves—in her driveway. Paris Hilton and Hayden Panettiere, who live within a few miles of these other ladies, also had similar robberies in the past year. But the LAPD seems to have this under control. They’ve arrested a suspect who they believe committed the Audrina and Lindsay burglaries, though they’re not sure if he’s connected to the other break-ins. His name is Nicholas Prugo. He’s 18 and is currently being held on $20K bail. How long do you think it will be before he squeals on his partners in (fashion) crime? Keep reading »