'Hillside Burglars' ringleader takes plea deal

LOS ANGELES Troy Corsby Thomas, 47, pleaded no contest Thursday to residential burglary. Thomas entered the plea as jury selection was to begin in the trial.

Thomas also agreed to make full restitution to all victims. Prosecutors say the estimated loss in diamonds, Rolex watches and cash is about $675,000. A restitution hearing was to be schedule later.

In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped five more counts of first-degree residential burglary.

Thomas, a West Hills resident, is suspected of being the ringleader of a burglary crew that hit homes in Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, Encino and Sherman Oaks.

Over a four-year period, police believe the so-called "Hillside Burglars" targeted dozens of homes and stole millions of dollars in jewelry and cash.

Thomas, self-identified as an auto broker, was arrested in January 2009 when LAPD detectives matched DNA at one residential burglary to his. No other members of the crew have been arrested.

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