By Jonathan Allen
NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City police arrested a woman caught stealing presents from beneath Robert De Niro’s Christmas tree after breaking into the actor’s apartment on the Upper East Side early on Monday morning, according to police and media reports.
Police officers saw the woman enter the basement of the building on East 65th Street at around 2.45 a.m. local time and found signs of forced entry, according to Arthur Tsui, a spokesperson for the New York Police Department.
The 30-year-old woman was known to police for a string of previous burglary arrests and officers caught her inside the apartment stealing items, Tsui said.
ABC News reported that she was stuffing presents from beneath a Christmas tree into a bag, and that De Niro, 79, was home at the time and came downstairs at the commotion.
The woman was in custody and charges were pending against her, Tsui said. A spokesman for the Manhattan district attorney said the woman was likely to appear in court to be arraigned later on Monday or early on Tuesday, and that it was not immediately clear whether she had a lawyer.
Stan Rosenfield, a spokesperson for De Niro, said he had no comment on the case other than to say the burglary took place at a temporary rental home for the Oscar-winning star of “Raging Bull” and “Taxi Driver.”
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen, editing by Deepa Babington)