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Panties on the Loose 

Women's underwear get burgled in Rincon Heights.

Just when the residents of Rincon Heights thought their undergarments were safe, the panty thief struck again.

During the Feb. 8 meeting of the Rincon Heights Neighborhood Association, Mark S. Homan spoke to a Tucson Police Department officer about the theft of women's undergarments in the area.

Homan's neighbor filed a report of panties being stolen off her tenant's clothesline. There had been nine such incidents at the time the report was filed, according to the neighbor.

One incident, reported to the Tucson Weekly on the condition of anonymity, was only recently associated with the series of panty thefts. After reading the minutes of the Feb. 8 RHNA meeting, the husband and wife realized that they were not the only ones whose undies had been pilfered.

"I was surprised to see this was not an isolated event," said the husband. "Somewhere in the neighborhood, somebody must have quite a pile of underwear."

The husband and wife came home at approximately 8 p.m. on Labor Day to see the motion detector light on the back porch come on. Thinking their cat had activated the light, they thought little of it. But upon getting into bed, they noticed a pillow was bare, a pillowcase missing and their bowl of change was gone.

"We figured someone had probably reached through the window and swiped it," said the wife. "Then I went to my underwear drawer ... and the drawer was completely empty. ... At first I thought it must be a joke. I thought [my husband] had hidden them."

But this was no joke. The two quickly realized they had been the victims of a theft--a theft that had targeted women's underwear as its booty.

But joking aside, the theft has taken an emotional toll. Coupled with having a Peeping Tom two years earlier, "It's really made me feel unsafe in my own house, like there are people creeping around at the window all the time, spying," the wife lamented.

The thief entered and exited through a small bathroom window that was left open for the victims' cats, which leads the husband to believe the thief is fairly small and thin.

"I think it's important to note that [the thief] is not really interested in general theft," said the husband. "He could have easily walked out of our house with hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in electronics, camera equipment and so forth."

Also noteworthy is that the woman's underwear was stored in a hallway drawer.

"So either he already knew it was there or he spent time looking for it," said the husband.

Sgt. Judy Altieri, public information officer with the Tucson Police Department, recalls a trend of women's underwear thefts approximately 18 months ago around the UA, but says she is unaware of any other recent thefts.

Only time will tell as to whether the culprit has sated his desire for women's nether garments.

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