This article originally appeared on VICE Asia.
Undergarments belonging to strangers isn’t by any definition an “essential good,” though one man may beg to differ.
On April 15, Lee Chee Kin, 39, left his house with the express purpose of procuring some freshly-stolen underwear.
A serial offender, Lee’s panty-stealing escapades date back to 2018. His modus operandi involves scaling people’s back gates to access private laundry areas, and choosing female underwear “based on their appearance,” a court report says. He would then use the stolen items “for his own sexual gratification.”
Lee even trespassed a house four times over February and March 2019, stealing 24 pieces of underwear worth SG$1,000 ($706) from the laundry.
During a raid in July last year, police found more than 100 bras and over 40 panties in Lee’s residence. A total of 93 bras and 25 panties reported by victims remained missing, Mothership reported. Understandably, owners of the recovered underwear did not want anything to do with the stolen items and declined to have them returned. Lee was arrested and let out on bail, but old habits die hard. Apparently, he could not resist the temptation to relapse into his bra-looting ways, even ignoring tightened movement restrictions amidst a global pandemic.
He was also not wearing a mask when climbing into his latest victim’s property last month, another breach of the lockdown regulations.
According to Channel News Asia, Lee pleaded guilty to a total of 10 charges, including theft, criminal trespass, unauthorised access to computer material, and breaching COVID-19 regulations. Another 14 charges will also be taken into consideration for sentencing.
Lee’s defence said that the serial offender was remorseful for his actions. They added that Lee’s father passed away in 2019 and his uncle recently went through surgery, two events which could have influenced Lee’s behaviour.
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