The stolen goods industry is highly profitable, thanks in part to the trafficking of such high-end wares as jewelry, electronics and rare collectors’ items. Such goods are often found in the homes of celebrities, who sometimes vacate their residences for weeks on end to shoot a movie or do a publicity tour.
Click ahead to see some of the celebrities who had their most valuable items stolen while they were in hotels, on the set, or even asleep in their own homes.
Posted June 6, 2011
By: Daniel Bukszpan
Crime Inc.: Stolen Goods premieres Wednesday, June 8th 9p | 10p | 12a |1a ET
Actress Rachel Bilson played Summer Roberts on the television drama The O.C. In addition to her acting portfolio, she is also known as a fashion maven, pursuing it seriously enough to launch her own clothing line in 2008. However, her wardrobe suffered a major blow when her Los Angeles home was robbed in 2009 while she was on vacation in Canada.
A representative for Bilson claimed that the actress had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of clothes and jewelry in the robbery. However, those close to the actress claimed that the stolen goods had sentimental value for her that far outweighed their monetary worth. Among the items stolen were a collection of vintage shoes and all of her jewelry, some of which was inherited from her grandmother.
During the 1990s, Kate Moss redefined the term “supermodel,” popularizing a stick-thin look that would forever bear the unfortunate name “heroin chic.” She remains commercially viable well into the new millennium, and as recently as 2007, Forbes magazine named her the second highest-earning model in the world, with a take of $9 million in that year alone.
In May 2010, her London home was broken into while she slept, and three works of art were stolen. One of the missing pieces was made by the artist Banksy, and was worth $115,000. Earlier that week, two of the artist’s limited edition prints were stolen from a London art gallery, a loss estimated to be worth $23,000.
Oscar-nominated actor Willem Dafoe has been making movies since the 1980s, including such crowd-pleasers as Platoon, The English Patient and Antichrist. He splits his time between homes in New York City and Rome, and on the night of May 22, 2011, burglars broke into his top-floor Italian residence.
Using mountain climbing equipment, the thieves gained entry into the apartment by rappelling down from the roof while the actor was in New Mexico shooting the movie Odd Thomas. Police officials said jewelry was among the items stolen, which a representative for Dafoe claimed was worth $3,000.
Kirsten Dunst is an actress best known for her portrayal of Mary Jane Watson in the highly successful Spiderman film franchise. On Aug. 9, 2007, just months after Spiderman 3 had been released, Dunst fell victim to robbers who broke into her suite at the Soho Grand Hotel in New York City.
The robbery occurred while Dunst was shooting a scene for the 2008 British comedy How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. While she was occupied on set, thieves made off with her credit cards, cell phone, iPod and two digital cameras, as well as $2,500 in cash. All of these items were inside a handbag that they also stole, which was valued at $13,000.
Kourtney Kardashian is a reality television star who should be familiar to anyone who watches Keeping Up with the Kardashians or any of its spin-off shows on the E! network. In October 2009, her home in southern California was broken into and thousands of dollars worth of luxury goods were stolen.
Kardashian had gone out to dinner with her boyfriend that October, 2009 evening. When she got home 90 minutes later, many expensive items were missing, such as a Rolex and several pieces of jewelry. The entire haul was estimated to be worth $80,000, including a Cartier watch valued at $30,000.
Comedian Steve Martin is a collector of rare artwork. In July 2004, he saw what seemed to be an authentic painting by the German artist Heinrich Campendonk at a Paris gallery, and he bought the 1915 piece, “Landscape With Horses,” for €700,000. ($1.014 million in today's dollars) This would have been a bargain price if the painting were real.
On May 30, 2011, Berlin police claimed that the painting was part of a collection created by a group of fraudsters caught in 2010. They created expertly forged paintings and sold them to French galleries exactly like the one where Martin bought his six years earlier. Martin later sold the painting through Christie’s auction house in 2006 for €500,000, a full €200,000 less than he had paid for it.
According to Forbes magazine, actor and director Tyler Perry is the sixth highest-paid man in Hollywood. His movies, such as Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Why Did I Get Married?, have earned a combined $400 million worldwide. In April 2010, his credit card number was stolen, and it was over a week before anyone caught on. By then, the perpetrator had racked up over $28,000 worth of damage.
Among the fraudulent charges made with his credit card were airline tickets, clothing purchases at Express.com and Abercrombie.com and multiple trips to Lowe’s worth over $7,000 each. The perpetrator also bought hundreds of dollars worth of movie tickets. It is not known if they were tickets to see Madea's Big Happy Family.
Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin are a husband and wife acting team who also own Belle Gray, a posh clothing boutique in Sherman Oaks, Calif. In October 2010, the store was robbed, and the thieves absconded with $10,000 worth of designer clothes after forcing their way in with a crowbar.
Rinna and Hamlin learned about the heist at an awkward time. They were on the Today show promoting their new TVLand reality program Harry Loves Lisa, and in the middle of the interview, Hamlin took a call on his cell phone from his home security company. As he detailed out loud the damages, hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotbe gasped, looking just as stunned as he did.
Texas-born model Erin Wasson is only 29 years old, but in her short career she’s already managed to grace the covers of Allure, Elle and four different international editions of Vogue. She has walked the runways of Europe and showcased the latest works of Armani, Karl Lagerfeld and other members of fashion’s elite. She has also had a lucrative international contract with Maybelline since 2002.
Just prior to Christmas 2008, Wasson accidentally left the door to her Santa Monica home unlocked, and she paid a heavy price for her oversight. While she slept, thieves entered her home and made off with a jewelry haul estimated to be worth tens of thousands of dollars, as well as expensive clothing by such designers as Dior and Alexander McQueen.
Although he had already starred in several roles, actor Matthew McConaughey made his first major splash in the 1993 movie Dazed and Confused. He’s been in the spotlight for off screen antics, like his high-profile arrest in 1999 for cannabis possession, although what most people remember about the incident is that the police found him playing bongo drums while nude.
On June 6, 2008, while vacationing in Nicaragua, the actor became heavily intoxicated at a bar and two people found him rummaging through a nearby sewage ditch for his lost flip-flops. The pair helped McConaughey back to his villa and put him to bed. However, they left the door unlocked, and someone came in and took his BlackBerry and $2,000 in cash. According to a local source, the actor didn’t report the incident to police. “I guess he just considered it a lesson learned,” the source said.
Crime Inc.: Stolen Goods premieres Wednesday, June 8th 9p | 10p | 12a |1a ET