'The Bling Ring' Book: Stealing From Celebrities Really Does Make You Famous


On June 14, Sofia Coppola’s new movie, The Bling Ring, will hit the big screen and give us another look at the infamous teenage criminals who raided several Hollywood mansions back in 2009.

If the trailer is any indicator, Coppola happily lifts entire chunks of the story from reality, at least, the Bling Ring’s version of reality — and that’s okay. She couldn’t have written a better story.

In fact, Nancy Jo Sales’ recent book, also titled The Bling Ring, suffers from her attempts to make sense of it all or add in her own thoughts, since the real story is so fantastic that it has to speak for itself.

It has all the pieces of a true 21st century, millennial crime novel. Most of the teen burglars were raised in the shadow of fame and fortune in Calabasas, Calif. They met at alternative high schools and bonded over drinks bought with fake IDs, dreaming of becoming models, fashion designers or, at least, famous like the stars they sometimes spotted. They allegedly picked out their targets and planned their raids using pictures from TMZ, Google Maps, and Twitter. Even the people they robbed were quintessential pieces of millennial culture: Paris Hilton, Audrina Patridge, Rachel Bilson, and Lindsay Lohan. And they might have gotten away with it, if those very same sites hadn’t begun covering their story, leading to a tip that broke the case.