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The daily dish ...

Help from dad ...

Police suspect the alleged mastermind behind a rash of celebrity burglaries may have hidden a large amount of the stolen property with her father's help, court records show.

A search warrant affidavit filed earlier this year in Los Angeles seeks phone and Internet records that police said might help recover items stolen from numerous celebrities.

An affidavit filed in support of the warrant states that police believe Rachel J. Lee, who has been charged with some of the break-ins, and her father, David Lee, hid the items before their Las Vegas home was searched last year.

Authorities have identified Rachel Lee as the suspected mastermind of a string of burglaries at the homes of several stars, including Orlando Bloom, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Megan Fox.

Rachel Lee, 19, is one of six young adults accused of stealing millions in jewelry and luxury goods from the homes of stars such as Bloom, Lohan and Hilton, as well as others like Rachel Bilson and Ashley Tisdale. She has pleaded not guilty to three charges of felony burglary and two counts of receiving stolen property.

Los Angeles Police Officer Brett Goodkin said an investigation into the burglaries continues.

Two of Rachel Lee's alleged accomplices, Nicholas Prugo and Alexis Neiers, told police that Rachel Lee and her father were to "get rid," of the stars' stolen property, the affidavit states.

Neiers is scheduled to go on trial in April. Her arrest has been featured on an E! Entertainment Television reality show.

The rest of the defendants, including Rachel Lee, are due back in court in late April.


Raising awareness ...

Ben Affleck launched a new initiative Monday to raise money and awareness over atrocities committed against women and children during years of conflict in eastern Congo, Affleck told the Associated Press.

The American actor and director spent five days in the country last week, where he met with former child sex slaves and prisoners convicted of rape in the hope of gaining a better understanding of Congo's troubles.

The new foundation -- the Eastern Congo Initiative -- will support community-based, Congolese groups, said Affleck on the heels of his fifth trip to the country.

The new initiative is funded in part by founding member Howard G. Buffett, son of investor Warren Buffett, to whom Affleck pitched his vision of a new aid group by describing eastern Congo's dire situation.

"I want you to know that 3.5 million people have died over the last 12 years. I want you to know about the women who are being raped, about the child soldiers ... about the kids I just met who have HIV," Affleck said he told Buffett. "I kind of bored him for two hours and basically twisted his arm."


For the birds ...

An animal welfare group wants New York City prosecutors to investigate Mike Tyson's reality television show about pigeon racing.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says the Brooklyn-based show is cruel to animals and its races could involve illegal gambling.

The show will follow Tyson as he competes in pigeon races. The former world heavyweight champion has raised pigeons all his life but is a racing rookie.

The show airs next year on Animal Planet. A spokeswoman says there have never been plans for wagering on the races. She says the pigeons will be "cherished and respected by their owners," including Tyson.

PETA sent a letter dated March 18 to the Brooklyn district attorney's office requesting an investigation.

District attorney spokesman Jonah Bruno says the office is looking into the allegations.

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