Couple blames ‘Ninja Burglar’ for stealing safe found in back yard
A Staten Island couple whose stolen safe — with more than $50,000 in cash and jewelry — mysteriously turned up in their neighbor’s yard believe the “Ninja Burglar” was behind the theft, the neighbor said Tuesday.
The rusted safe was discovered two weeks ago by landscapers who were pulling up trees at Matthew Emanuel’s Todt Hill home.
After cracking it open, Emanuel found an address to a Brooklyn building belonging to his neighbor Man So Lee, who lives two doors down on Wooddale Avenue.
“I walked over and asked if they had ever been robbed,” Emanuel said. “They said, yes, back in 2011, the Ninja Burglar burglarized their house.”
An NYPD spokesman confirmed that a safe was taken from Lee’s home in a robbery the day after Christmas in 2011.
No arrests were ever made.
The Lees told Emanuel an alarm went off when the burglar ripped the safe out of the wall — and a police chase ensued.
“When the alarm went off, he must’ve ran and dropped it over the fence,” Emanuel said. “The safe was about 80 to 100 pounds. He must’ve figured he’d come back for it later.”
But nearly seven years later, he never did.
A law enforcement source said the Wooddale burglary was investigated as part of a string of robberies committed by the so-called “Ninja Burglar,” Robert Costanzo.
He admitted to more than a hundred home invasions in affluent Staten Island neighborhoods, including Todt Hill, between 2006 and 2014.
All told, his crimes netted him more than $4 million in cash, jewelry and other luxury goods.
In 2016, Costanzo copped to just three of the burglaries in exchange for 22 years in prison.
No one answered the door at Lee’s home Monday.
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