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Alleged "Bling Ring" ringleader pleads no contest to celebrity burglaries

Nicholas Prugo, 2009
AP Images
(CBS/AP) LOS ANGELES - The alleged ringleader of a series of celebrity burglaries, Nicholas Prugo, has pleaded no contest to stealing from Lindsay Lohan and reality star Audrina Patridge.

Prugo, 21, spoke softly as he entered a plea Friday in Los Angeles. His deal includes two years in prison.

The plea came in exchange for Prugo testifying against three other people in the so called "Bling Ring" suspected of helping him break into the homes of stars. Neigher Lohan and Patridge attended the hearing.

Prugo and others were accused of break-ins that netted more than $3 million in jewelry, high-end clothes, art and other goods. Most of the property has never been recovered.

Prugo has also been charged with conspiracy and burglarizing the homes of Orlando Bloom, Paris Hilton and Rachel Bilson, but those counts were dropped in exchange for his plea. He will be responsible for restitution awards stemming from the break-ins, prosecutor Christine Kee said.

"Nick is doing the right thing," his attorney Markus Mueller-Dombois said after the hearing.

Prugo will be sentenced May 4, or after the cases against the remaining defendants have concluded.

Two others charged in the case, Rachel Lee and Alexis Neiers, also accepted plea deals. Prugo said Lee helped plan the break-ins. She was sentenced to four years in state prison after pleading no contest to burglarizing Patridge's home.

Lindsay Lohan testified in the case in 2010, saying, "It wasn't about the things that were taken, it was just the fact that someone came into the only private space that I have in my life at this point."

Complete coverage of the "Bling Ring" burglaries on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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