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A female burglar who is well known to the NYPD was being followed by police when she broke into actor Robert De Niro’s Upper East Side townhouse and stole Christmas gifts while he slept upstairs.

Shanice Aviles, 30, allegedly broke into the 79-year-old actor’s 4-story townhouse around 2:30 a.m Monday.

She was rummaging through the gifts under the Christmas tree when police caught her red-handed. “She was stealing Christmas presents,” a police official said.

Aviles was found on the second floor – with the actor’s iPad, police sources told the New York Post.

Aviles was spotted trying to pry open doors to commercial buildings in the upscale neighborhood.

An older looking Robert De Niro is assisted out of his car while filming The Irishman

Police trailed her to De Niro’s townhouse where she jimmied the front door lock and entered, according to the sources.

Police say De Niro was upstairs asleep and his daughter was in another bedroom, according to the sources. None of the residents knew what was going on until they were awakened by police, the sources said.


Aviles is a “known burglar” with a long rap sheet that includes 25 arrests for mostly burglary and petty theft. “This is just another example of the catch-and-release justice system we’re dealing with,” a police official told The Post.

The locks are being changed on the $69,000-a-month rental townhome, said police.

The New York native sold his West Village townhouse of 37 years for $9.5 million in 2012. The “Taxi Driver” star relocated to his mansion in upstate New York during the pandemic.