The father of a teen arrested for Hollywood robberies says she was "in the wrong place at the wrong time"

By Ken Lee Johnny Dodd
October 26, 2009 06:45 PM
Splash News Online

In the unfolding case of the teenage burglary gang – suspected of breaking into A-list celebrity homes in Los Angeles – one parent says his daughter is no professional thief.

“She was in the wrong place at the wrong time, associating with the wrong people,” Mikel Neiers tells PEOPLE of his daughter, Alexis, 18. “She got sucked into this. We’re standing by her. I’m sure [the case against her is] going to be thrown out of court.”

Alexis Neiers was one of four teenage girls arrested Thursday in a sting operation by LAPD detectives. A fifth suspect, Roy Lopez, 27, was also detained.

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A source close to the case says the group is linked to burglaries at the homes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom, and Audrina Patridge.

Reached for comment, Alexis’s attorney Jeffery Rubenstein stated, “I expect my client will be fully vindicated when all the facts of the case come out. At this time, no formal charges have been filed against her. When the time is right, she will tell her side of the story.”

In a bizarre twist, Alexis and her two sisters (one of whom is a Playboy model, Tess Taylor) and their mother are the subject of reality show pilot for E! “It’s called Home-Schooling with the Arlingtons,” says Mr. Neiers, who is an Emmy-nominated director of photography for shows including Friends and Spin City. “I’m not in it. My ex is and our three girls.”

The source says Alexis was in the middle of filming the show when the raid occurred.

Asked how his daughter is faring, Mr. Neiers says, “She’s hanging in there as best as she can. She just got caught up in a bad situation. You can chalk it all up to innocence, naiveté. She’s only 18.”

So far, formal charges in the Lohan and Patridge burglaries have only been filed against a sixth suspect, Nicholas Prugo, 18, who, if convicted, faces up to six years in prison.