Woman arrested after breaking into Robert De Niro’s home, trying to steal Xmas gifts: reports

Robert De Niro attends the 'Amsterdam' World Premiere at Alice Tully Hall on September 18, 2022, in New York City. Getty Images

It’s not just the Grinch who tried to steal Christmas.

A 30-year-old woman was arrested in the early hours of Monday morning when she was caught attempting to steal Christmas presents from under Robert De Niro‘s tree in his Manhattan townhouse, local police reported.

According to The Associated Press, officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD) discovered the woman in De Niro’s living room “attempting to remove property” around 2:45 a.m.

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The New York Times identified the woman as Shanice Aviles. The outlet reported that Aviles was seen entering De Niro’s Upper East Side rental home through a basement door, which had visible signs of forced entry.

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She was arrested at the scene. A publicist for De Niro, 79, confirmed the break-in, but did not comment publicly.

ABC7 claimed Aviles — whom the outlet described as a “prolific” burglar — was followed by police after she was spotted trying to open doors to various buildings in De Niro’s neighbourhood.

Police reportedly followed Aviles into De Niro’s home after they spotted the still-open basement door but did not know the residence belonged to the actor. Police claimed Aviles was discovered taking items from the house and putting them in a bag.

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Aviles is currently in police custody with charges still pending.

Reported details about the alleged burglary are muddled.

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ABC7 claimed there was no interaction between Aviles and De Niro, but The Associated Press reported De Niro had awoken to the commotion of Aviles’ arrest and come downstairs.

NBC New York alleged that police discovered Aviles using De Niro’s iPad after the break in, not stealing Christmas presents. The outlet also claimed De Niro is expected to press charges against Aviles.

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Regardless, De Niro’s publicist said the actor would not speak publicly about the break-in.

De Niro is one of the most well-beloved actors in Hollywood. He is a two-time Academy Award winner who scored acclaim for his 1974 performance in The Godfather Part II and his role in the 1980 film Raging Bull. 

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