David Chou, a first-year student from UC San Diego, reportedly stole hundreds of pairs of women’s underwear worth approximately $2,000. He was charged by UCSD police with burglary, grand theft, and receiving known stolen property, reports student-run publication The Triton.
Weeks before his arrest, news had been circulating of an underwear thief who has been targeting Sixth College residential hall laundry rooms. In an interview with the paper, Sixth College resident Mandy Huang noted that there was even a sign posted in the area warning students of the repeated instances of underwear theft. An additional sign was posted with the same message a few weeks later as more items get stolen.
One student claimed to have lost one washing machine load composed of a shirt and around 10 to 14 pairs of underwear. With the help of her dorm advisor, the victim reported the incident to campus police. However, she was reportedly told by the police that the only thing they could do was to advise her to monitor her laundry and to “bring a friend when doing laundry to be safe.”
When she took the issue to social media and posted about what happened, Chou was even brazen enough to comment jokingly on the post. The suspect, however, would later be caught red-handed when, on October 27, another female student saw him walking across the Sixth College quad carrying her laundry items. She reportedly followed Chou to his dorm where she cornered him. When the suspected thief refused to open his door, his latest victim immediately called the police.
Police discovered a box containing 192 pairs of women’s underwear in Chou’s dorm room. Further investigation yielded two similar boxes, also containing articles of women’s clothing. Chou was arrested that afternoon.
While the police have confiscated the stolen laundry items for distribution to their owners, they warned against the students wearing them again since Chou has admitted to wearing the items himself.