MANHATTAN, NEW YORK: Claiming innocence, serial burglar Shanice Aviles denied stealing allegations after being busted inside Robert De Niro‘s rented Upper East Side townhouse on Monday, December 19, 2022. Yelling at reporters gathered outside the 19th Precinct stationhouse, Aviles said, “I didn’t murder anybody!” The bizarre scene took place while the well-known thief was charged with burglary and was arrested after being handcuffed on Monday afternoon.
Smiling at the cameras outside the stationhouse, Aviles said, “I didn’t go to Robert De Niro’s house,” answering reporters requesting her to respond about the alleged burglary while she was taken into an NYPD car waiting outside. Making a holiday break-in, the burglar allegedly attempted to bag gifts placed around the Christmas tree placed in De Niro’s home and fiddled around with his iPad, according to law enforcement, reports the New York Post.
MEAWW previously reported that at around 2.30 am, Aviles sneaked into De Niro’s rented $69,000-a-month home and was caught red-handed at the residence located on East 65th Street near Park Avenue during the burglary.
The 30-year-old woman is a known serial burglar who has been charged with 26 arrests before, including 16 burglaries and petit larcenies, reports ABC 7. Described as one of NYPD’s “most prolific recidivist burglars”, Aviles’ last arrest was recorded on December 8. She has been arrested nine times in total on the Upper East Side alone, according to the Daily Mail.
The NYPD’s 19th Precinct Public Safety team followed Aviles on the night of the burglary as she has already been a “wanted” thief for six other burglaries. Before she broke into the ‘Good Fellas’ actor’s home, the cops found her trying a few doors of the building, according to the NYPD.
“She was stealing Christmas presents,” and was fiddling with the 79-year-old actor’s iPad, the authorities said, reports the New York Post. The thief was reportedly caught in the act of stealing and the police were unaware the house belonged to the ‘Taxi Driver’ actor. De Niro, who was asleep upstairs, walked downstairs to the scene when he was woken up by the commotion. His daughter was also in another bedroom.
Charged with burglary, Aviles was taken to the Lenox Hill precinct for procedures that had to be completed before she was taken to Manhattan Criminal Court for her trials. Wearing a wool cap, a black Nike sweater, faded blue jeans, and a parka, she smiled at first when taken out and then yelled at the reporters waiting outside. Police stated that forced entry signs were evident at the place.
According to the New York Post, the recidivist burglar has two existing open bench warrants, of which, one of the warrants was for pending cases in Manhattan and Queens and another one was for not attending a court-issued drug rehab last week.