Crime: Whatever Happened To Courtney Ames From The Bling Ring?

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In the early 2000s, while everyone worked to copy Paris Hilton's outfits, a select few kids in California worked to not just copy those outfits, but also steal them.

Courtney Ames in court © YouTube Courtney Ames in court

The Bling Ring, as they were called, was a group of seven California teenagers who broke into celebrities' homes between 2008 and 2009. During the yearlong raid, the teens stole jewelry, clothes, other personal items, and cash from celebrities. Throughout the group's raid, the teens stole more than $3 million from different celebrities including Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, and Lindsey Lohan. "It was like they went shopping in my closet," Audrina Patridge said, per People. "After my house was broken into, I was the most terrified I've ever been in my entire life."

Whatever Happened To Courtney Ames From The Bling Ring?

  Whatever Happened To Courtney Ames From The Bling Ring? As a member of the Bling Ring, Courtney Ames found herself in trouble for stealing from homes of the rich and famous. So, what's she been up to since?The Bling Ring, as they were called, was a group of seven California teenagers who broke into celebrities' homes between 2008 and 2009. During the yearlong raid, the teens stole jewelry, clothes, other personal items, and cash from celebrities. Throughout the group's raid, the teens stole more than $3 million from different celebrities including Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, and Lindsey Lohan. "It was like they went shopping in my closet," Audrina Patridge said, per People.

But for the teenagers, which included Alexis Neiers, Courtney Ames, Rachel Lee, Nick Prugo, and Diana Tamayo, their raids didn't last much longer than a year. Because after being caught on the security cameras outside of two different homes, two different times, police were able to identify and arrest Prugo. From there, in his confessional, Prugo then listed all of the other members' names. Then, after the confessions and trials, each member received a different sentencing before attempting to move on with their life. And while Neiers and Prugo have continued to speak on the Bling Ring to this day, many members, like Ames, have chosen to forgive and forget — leading people to wonder what she's up to nowadays.

Where Is Courtney Ames Now?

Courtney Ames in court © YouTube Courtney Ames in court

The Bling Ring all came crashing down in 2009 when each of the members was arrested for their involvement. And some members, since that day, have chosen to stay out of the limelight because of their actions. One of those members includes Courtney Ames.

All The Celebrities Who Were Victims Of The Bling Ring

  All The Celebrities Who Were Victims Of The Bling Ring Between 2008 and 2009, a group of teenagers known as The Bling Ring managed to rob the homes of various high-profile celebrities. Here's who they targeted.The real-life Bling Ring comprised of Rachel Lee, who's known to be the mastermind, reality star Alexis Haines, who starred in "Pretty Wild," Nick Prugo, Courtney Ames, and Diana Tamayo. Per Prugo, the gang didn't realize the gravity of what they were doing at the time. All they knew was they were having fun. "There was a definite thrill to it," he told "Good Morning America" in 2010 after he was arrested. "I don't think any of us realized how severe it was until we actually got caught. It didn't seem as bad as it was.

Following the Bling Ring's arrest in 2009, Ames was sentenced to serve two months of community service and three years probation, per People. Ames was able to receive a lower sentence after pleading no contest and admitting that one of the leather jackets she had was one that she stole from Paris Hilton during a raid, per E! News.

Though after her sentencing, Ames chose to leave her past behind her. Since then, she has actively avoided any notoriety or fame gained from the Bling Ring and chose to enroll in school to study psychology, speech, and child development at Pierce College in California, per Us Weekly. In addition to enrolling in school, Ames also sought to gain a fresh start by changing her name. Following her sentence, reports surfaced that Ames had been working to change her name to Courtney Shields, in honor of her stepfather, per TMZ. While the name change has never been confirmed, Ames looking to leave her name in the past is only one more layer of separation from her and the Bling Ring, which is something Ames has wanted all along.

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How Was Courtney Ames Involved In The Bling Ring?

Courtney Ames speaking © YouTube Courtney Ames speaking

While Courtney Ames has worked to separate herself from the Bling Ring, there's no denying she was a part of the scheme. In fact, Ames had one of the biggest parts in the group. While in the Bling Ring, Ames was tasked with finding two more people — Johnny Ajar and Roy Lopez — to join the group. Their jobs, designated by Ames, were to take the items the group stole and sell them to make money, per People.

And according to Ames' fellow accomplices, they had a lot of fun while doing it. "There was a definite thrill to it," Nick Prugo told "Good Morning America" in 2010. "I don't think any of us realized how severe it was until we actually got caught. It didn't seem as bad as it was."

Yet, while Ames chose not to speak out about the incident following her sentencing, many of her accomplices have since apologized for their crimes and found a better way of life following the scandal, leading us to hope that Ames feels the same way. "I did use it as a turning point," Alexis Neiers said about the incidents, per the Daily Mail. "Going to jail was the best thing that happened to me and it saved my life."

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