The alleged mastermind behind a series of celebrity home break-ins was arrested Wednesday after Los Angeles police found a cache of more than 2,000 stolen luxury items.
Benjamin Eitan Ackerman, 32, allegedly posed as a well-heeled property buyer or realtor during open houses to research his targets, which included the homes of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Dorit Kemsley, Usher, Adam Lambert, and Jason Derulo.
After several burglaries, police caught on to his alleged tactics after being notified that while he attended open houses he also inquired about expensive artwork that was on display.
“When he showed up, he was dressed to the nines, he was very slick,” LAPD Detective Jared Timmons said at a news conference.
Officials were able to identify 13 burglary victims, but police believe there may be more and are asking for the public’s help.
Due to the sheer size of the cache, which is estimated to be worth millions, police created a website cataloging everything from jewelry to high-end handbags and art to see if the people can identify them as their property. The catalog also includes Rolex watches, sports memorabilia, expensive wines, iPads, suitcases, and signed Helmut Newton photographs.
Police are still investigating how Ackerman was allegedly able to break into the homes. However, Timmons said Ackerman was highly sophisticated and in several situations, police found tampered security devices where the cameras had gone black.
Police said Ackerman even targeted a family friend.
“No one was off the table,” Timmons said.
Last year, Los Angeles police arrested a team of people who they say tracked the social media profiles of stars like Rihanna, Christina Milian, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig to break into their homes while they were away. Puig’s home was burglarized four times — twice in two months.