Robert De Niro’s New York City Townhouse Was Broken Into While He and Daughter Were Home

The burglar did not steal Christmas presents as initially reported, but she did use De Niro’s iPad

Robert De Niro attends the 'Amsterdam' World Premiere at Alice Tully Hall on September 18, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
Getty Images

A repeat offending burglar broke into Robert De Niro’s temporary rental townhouse in New York City’s Upper East Side Monday morning and was arrested on site. Contrary to initial reports, she did not steal Christmas presents, but she did use his iPad.

De Niro’s publicist, Stan Rosenfield, confirmed the news of the break-in — thought to be an attempted robbery — to TheWrap, but he declined to comment any further at this time. The NYPD also confirmed the news in a statement emailed to TheWrap.

“The Public Safety Team conducted an interior patrol where they discovered the female inside of the residence attempting to remove property,” the statement reads. “The female was taken into custody without incident. The investigation is ongoing.”

According to NBC 7 San Diego, the woman, 30-year-old Shanice Aviles, has more than two dozen prior arrests. NBC 7 San Diego reports that De Niro, who was renting the property in question, is expected to press charges against Aviles, according to the police. Aviles herself has been charged with burglary.

Apprehending her on the second floor, the tactical team found Aviles using De Niro’s iPad. The third floor tipped the investigators off as to the owner of the home. Officials woke Mr. De Niro and his 10-year-old daughter, who was sleeping in another room, finding neither of them hurt. 

The investigation that led to the arrest of Aviles began earlier this month at the request of the NYPD following a series of burglaries in the neighborhood. Officers of the 19th Precinct’s public safety team discovered Aviles attempting to open doors of buildings in the area, and they followed her around the corner of East 65th Street to De Niro’s townhouse, located between Lexington and Park Avenues. At around 2:45 a.m., the officers followed her into the actor’s home, tipped off by signs of forced entry on the basement door. 

Aviles, who has 26 prior arrests excluding the one on Monday, mostly for burglaries. Since Nov. 21, Aviles has been cuffed nine times in the same precinct. On Black Friday she was arrested for burglary in queens. She has been charged with burglary in Monday’s instance. 

The New York Times reported that her arraignment may take place Monday evening or Tuesday morning.