Panty thief strikes affluent suburb

A PANTY thief is on the loose, with at least two women's unmentionables going missing recently.

Residents have taken to social media to warn about a "creepy person" stealing women's underwear in Toowoomba.

Chris Wilson said two of his female friends had their underwear stolen in the last week.

He said the thefts took place in the Prince Henry Heights area, one of the more affluent suburbs in Toowoomba.

A spokesman for Toowoomba Police said no official reports of thefts had been made.

Another resident said she had g-strings stolen off her clothesline outside her Holberton St home.

The woman described the theft as "scary".

Another questioned the thought process of the thief.

"What is this world coming too when you can't even hang your undies on the line? I'm not in that area, but may have to start hanging washing in my enclosed balcony so our clothes stay safe."

Residents in Toowoomba have reported a string of panty thefts (generic image).
Residents in Toowoomba have reported a string of panty thefts (generic image).

It's not the first time an underwear thief has struck in Toowoomba, with Stewart Shane Kellett, 42, of Bell, pleading guilty at Toowoomba Magistrates Court to stealing 81 pieces of women's underwear in April and May of 2008.

The stealing of clothes is sometimes called "snow dropping" which some say originated in Australian prisons.

An old newspaper report in the Sydney Morning Herald stated: "Decades ago when public laundries were few, people did their own washing.

"It was the practice of two or three young men with more energy than discretion to venture out on a clear moonlit night and go "snow dropping".

"That is, they would rob some clothes line of the weekly washing and steal the snow-white linen."

The thefts may also be due to "underwear fetishism"  which refers to the sexual excitement which some people experience from observing or handling certain types of underwear, including panties, stockings, pantyhose, bras, or other items.



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