Staten Island 'Ninja Burglar' gets 22 years in prison

ST. GEORGE, Staten Island (WABC) -- The man who admitted to being the so-called "ninja burglar" who terrorized Staten Island with a string of stealthy break-ins was sentenced to 22 years in prison Friday.

Robert Costanzo, 46, of Staten Island, committed at least 160 burglaries between 2005 and 2015.

Dressed in all black and slipping in and out undetected in the dead of night, Costanzo hit high-end homes on Staten Island, as well as wealthy neighborhoods in New Jersey, Connecticut and upstate New York.

He will serve his time in a New York state prison, and his sentence will run concurrently to sentences he receives for crimes in the other jurisdictions.

Costanzo pleaded guilty in April 2016, but the sentencing was delayed numerous times for various reasons.

"The substantial prison sentence handed down today finally puts an end to a terrifying chapter for the residents of Grymes Hill, Emerson Hill, Todt Hill, Lighthouse Hill, Castleton Corners, Silver Lake, West Brighton and Grasmere," District Attorney Michael McMahon said. "Now they can rest assured knowing that Mr. Costanzo is securely behind bars."

Prosecutors said Costanzo led a normal life during the crime spree, living with his child and the child's mother at a Staten Island home.

They believe that over the course of 10 years beginning in 2006, Costanzo stole more than $4 million in cash and goods, and that he sometimes gave the handbags he stole to his family and friends.

He was first taken into custody in May 2015, when he appeared in a Staten Island court for an unrelated case. He was detained on an extradition warrant from Farmington, Conn., for a 2014 home invasion and had been held in Connecticut since then.

He is also a Level 3 sex offender following the rape of a grandmother at knife-point in her Staten Island apartment in 1989. He was convicted of sexual battery in Kissimmee, Fla., in 1996.
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