By Mariah Haas
Published January 02, 2019
Los Angeles police have arrested a man, who allegedly burglarized high-end homes in the Hollywood Hills, many of them celebrities.
Investigators found more than 2,000 suspected stolen items when search warrants were served on the home of Benjamin Eitan Ackerman, 32, and a storage unit, Detective Jared Timmons said on Wednesday, as The Associated Press reports.
According to Timmons, stars such as Usher, Adam Lambert and Jason Derulo were among the 13 victims identified so far.
Police shared photos of items on a website in hopes of identifying other victims and returning their belongings to them. Timmons said the estimated combined value of the items was at several million dollars.
Per Captain Cory Palka, commander of the LAPD's Hollywood Division — the items were stolen between 2017 and 2018 — and include artwork, jewelry, fine wines, purses, as well as clothing.
Authorities alleged Ackerman looked at properties while pretending to be a potential buyer or real estate agent at open houses. Police said he also sometimes falsely claimed to work for an investment firm.
"When he showed up he was dressed to the nines. He acted the part. He was very slick," said Timmons, who added that no one challenged Ackerman or sought to verify who he was.
Timmons said detectives were still trying to determine how the burglaries — which he described as sophisticated and included tampering with surveillance cameras — were carried out, along with who else may have been involved.
"Sometimes they were just ripped out and other times the cameras would simply go black until several hours after the burglary occurred," he said.
The district attorney had not yet filed charges and no court date was set yet for Ackerman, Timmons said. It was not immediately known if Ackerman had retained a lawyer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.