New York Cops Claim They've Arrested Infamous 'Ninja Burglar' After 18-Month Long Search

New York Police Identify Convicted Rapist As Infamous 'Ninja Burglar'
Robert Costanzo
RCDA

04/21/2016 AT 03:15 PM EDT

Police on New York's Staten Island say they're confident they've apprehended the elusive "Ninja Burglar," who they claim has confessed to more than 100 residential break-ins since his arrest on Wednesday.

A statement supplied to PEOPLE by Richmond County District Attorney Michael McMahon's office suggests Wednesday's collar abruptly ended 46-year-old Robert Costanzo's infamous crime spree, which spanned 10 years and three separate states.

Costanzo, a convicted rapist who claims to have victimized five women, has been formally charged with committing three burglaries while dressed entirely in black. He'd also conceal his face during the burglaries, and described himself to one victim as a "ninja."

The nunchuck-wielding intruder has been the subject of police investigations since 2005, the statement notes.

Costanzo, McMahon's statement claims, "has admitted to burglarizing more than 100 homes in Staten Island over the past decade. Additionally, he also targeted wealthy enclaves in upstate New York, New Jersey and Connecticut."

McMahon's statement claims the "Ninja Burglar" made off with "more than $4 million in cash, jewelry, watches, and other items during his criminal career. More shocking than how much property the defendant made off with is just how brazen he was. In a number of the cases reviewed with Mr. Costanzo, he admits to slipping in and out of residences while his victims were home."

McMahon said Costanzo was expected to plead guilty during court proceedings scheduled for this afternoon.

"Although he has admitted to committing more than 100 burglaries, unfortunately we are prohibited from bringing charges for many of those cases due to the statute of limitations," McMahon's statement adds before assuring New York City's residents that "His reign of terror is officially over."

Wednesday's arrest caps an 18-month investigation that began back in October 2014, and investigators contend that under questioning, Costanzo has "detailed how he targeted homes under the cover of darkness and would strike on any day of the week to avoid developing a pattern."

He's even allegedly "recalled in vivid detail how he narrowly avoided capture in October 2008 after being caught breaking into a home."

In that incident, Costanzo was allegedly stabbed by the homeowner as he fled.

Costanzo's attorney was unavailable for comment Thursday.

Costanzo was convicted of raping a New York woman in 1992 and later told police he'd raped four other women in Florida.
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