Thai police have arrested a serial thief known as “Mr. Underpants” on Tuesday after he stole hundreds of mobile phones from nine Banana stores across Thailand wearing only his underwear.
For more than six months, four arrest warrants were issued against 23-year-old Jeh Issamaeh Hama from Narathiwat province of Thailand. He reportedly stole from Banana branches in Yala, Hat Yai, Patthalung, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nong Bua Lamphu, Ubon Ratchatani, Hua Hin and Sai Mai in Bangkok.
Arrest warrants were issued on Jan. 20, Feb. 4, April 23 and May 27.
Police apprehended Hama at an apartment complex located in the Bang Kapi district of Bangkok where they discovered hundreds of mobile phones.
Hama was dubbed “Mr. Underpants” after CCTV footage showed the 23-year-old committing the crimes while wearing only white briefs. He purportedly sold some of the devices and gave the rest away to homeless individuals. Hama, who was once homeless himself, explained that he stole the phones because he did not have one as a child while all of his friends did.
The 23-year-old thief provided a strange explanation as to why he targeted Banana stores and the reasoning behind his attire.
“I only steal from BANANA stores because I like bananas and I like the color yellow. I like to take my clothes off and I like to only wear underpants. It gives me a feeling of confidence and I feel like myself. In 2021, [the] media in Yala province called me a psychotic thief. I didn’t like that, so I stole a camera too,” Hama was quoted as saying per Thaiger.
According to police, Hama is knowledgeable in technology as he only stole devices with unlocked sim cards. In CCTV footage caught at the Nakhon Nayok location, Hama was caught watching the area for more than 3 hours before he entered the Banana store in his underwear and stole 128 phones, valued at 1,914,895 baht (approximately $53,221) total. He was also seen on CCTV footage on Jan. 9 stealing phones while wearing only his underwear at the Banana store in Sai Mai.
Hama has since pleaded guilty to all charges.
Feature image via Royal Thai Police