Woman arrested after breaking into Robert De Niro's apartment, stealing Christmas presents
De Niro was home at the time, but only came downstairs after she was arrested.
A woman allegedly broke into actor Robert De Niro's Upper East Side townhouse early Monday morning and began snatching up Christmas presents from under his tree, according to police.
Shanice Aviles, 30, was arrested on burglary charges after she was spotted entering De Niro's home at 2:45 a.m., police said.
Police were following Aviles because she was wanted in connection with six other burglaries. Police sources described her as a recidivist who had just been arrested Dec. 8. Aviles was arrested for seven burglaries in the 19th Precinct on the Upper East Side alone between Nov. 25 and Dec. 8.
Aviles has 26 prior arrests, including 16 for burglaries and petit larcenies.
Early Monday morning, police saw her entering a townhouse on East 65 Street. When she did not come out, police entered the home and saw her taking presents from under the Christmas tree and putting them into a bag.
Hearing the commotion, De Niro came down the stairs. Police did not know it was his house until he appeared.
Aviles was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of second-degree burglary and her bond was set at $40,000 cash. She did not enter a plea. Aviles will next appear in court on Dec. 23.
There was no interaction between the actor and the alleged thief, police said.
Stan Rosenfield, publicist for Robert De Niro, said his client was "fine" and there would not be a statement on the attempted burglary.
De Niro, 79, was born and raised in Manhattan. Acknowledged as one of America's greatest living actors, he's won two Academy Awards and been nominated for six more. He was also honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2011 at the Golden Globes for his career body of work.