In a turn of events reminiscent of a scene from a Christmas movie gone awry, iconic actor Robert De Niro found himself facing an attempted burglary this holiday season. Similar to the Grinch’s infamous attempt to steal Christmas from the Whos in Whoville, Shanice Aviles tried to abscond with the actual presents from under De Niro’s Christmas tree.
On December 19, 2022, an incident occurred at De Niro’s townhouse in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Aviles, already a known burglar with a record of 26 past arrests as per the NYPD, attempted to break into the star’s residence. According to reports from The New York Post, when apprehended, Aviles was discovered playing with De Niro’s iPad and attempting to pilfer the wrapped gifts from inside the actor’s home.
Despite her numerous previous arrests this year for burglary and petty larceny, officers had their eye on Aviles even before she targeted De Niro’s residence. Sources suggested that Aviles had been seen trying to access doors to commercial buildings in the neighborhood before reaching the townhouse.
At the time of the incident, De Niro was reportedly on an upper floor of the house, while his daughter was in the bathroom, both unaware that their gifts were in jeopardy. Nevertheless, Aviles was detained, and later that afternoon, she was seen being escorted out of the local precinct stationhouse in handcuffs.
Aviles staunchly professed her innocence to the press and cameras outside the station, vehemently denying any involvement: “I didn’t murder anybody! I didn’t go to Robert De Niro’s house!” Fortunately, De Niro and his family emerged from the incident unharmed, and their representatives have refrained from making any public statements about the situation at present.
While De Niro, known for his roles in movies like “Raging Bull” and “The Irishman,” is familiar with fictional crime, real-life theft and break-ins are understandably distressing occurrences, casting a shadow on the festive season.