Alleged underwear thief, 70, caught out

Police will allege a 70-year-old man who had a penchant for stealing ladies’ underwear was caught red-handed when they uncovered almost 90 pairs in his home.

Police in Tamworth, in northern NSW, say they’ve completed a real undercover sting operation which revealed the alleged culprit behind the theft of underwear from clotheslines since October around the Church St, West Tamworth, area. One woman told police she had more than 30 pairs stolen – and police went to work, working out the pattern of the disappearing undies.

Oxley Local Area Command detectives substituted marked underwear, placed cameras at various locations and studied the suspect behaviour.

They arrested a man on Tuesday afternoon and say a search of the alleged thief’s home uncovered 86 pieces of underwear.

Detective Les Wallace, who led the special investigation, yesterday said further victims were identified and notified their undergarments had been found. The man has been charged with 11 offences, including larceny and entering premises without a lawful excuse, and will appear before Tamworth Local Court on January 7.

Detective Sergeant John Sommers said the case demonstrated that no matter how small the incident, victims of crime should report all matters to police.

“No matter how trivial it may seem, we encourage all crimes to be reported, so that police can investigate them to the best of their resources,” he said.