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By Doha Madani
A man who allegedly stole high-end items worth millions of dollars during a string of robberies that targeted celebrity homes in Los Angeles was arrested, police announced Wednesday.
Benjamin Eitan Ackerman, 32, was arrested in September in connection with the burglaries, which took place over several months in the Hollywood Hills area, after authorities recovered more than 2,000 pieces during a search of his home and storage unit, the Los Angeles Police Department said at a Wednesday press conference.
Ackerman’s alleged victims include singers Adam Lambert, Usher Raymond, and Jason Derulo and authorities believe there could be more victims.
Ackerman allegedly set his sights on houses up for sale and would pose as an interested buyer or real-estate broker.
“When he showed up, he was dressed to the nines,” LAPD Det. Jared Timmons said Wednesday. “He acted the part. He was very slick.”
He would then steal expensive art, jewelry, designer purses, clothing, electronics, and other high-end products.
Timmons said Ackerman has a prior criminal record and has been known to change the serial numbers on artwork for resale. Timmons was unable to say how many stolen pieces may have already been sold.
Investigators identified at least 13 victims but believe there may be more based on the sheer volume of stolen goods recovered. The LAPD created a website with photos of the items from Ackerman’s storage unit in the hopes more victims will find their property and come forward.
“As we said, open houses were the main source of (the thefts), however we do have one case where he targeted a family friend,” Timmons said. “So nobody’s off the table.”
Ackerman was originally arrested and released on bail in September. He did not have a court date set as of Wednesday afternoon, according to Timmons.
Authorities are still investigating who else may be connected to Ackerman’s alleged thefts.
Doha Madani is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News