An underwear thief has been busted by a man pinching panties from a clothes line. Nick Reeves decided to catch the culprit after about 60 pairs of his mother's knickers went missing, among hundreds reported stolen off clothes lines around Abbotsford, a suburb in Dunedin, New Zealand, this year.
"It was getting quite disturbing ... and mum was getting a bit worried,'' Mr Reeves said. Police set up a camera on the property in an attempt to nab the thief but when the underwear still went missing Mr Reeves decided to try night-watch duty.
The Reeves family rigged up their own security system - a cotton thread around the property - and kept records of what was hung out on the backyard clothes line. They lured the panty pincher by hanging out knickers overnight, while Mr Reeves kept an eye on the line from inside.
"It was like Murphy's Law - when I wasn't at the house more would go missing,'' Mr Reeves said. After several fruitless sessions, Mr Reeves spent a night hidden in a rhododendron bush in the yard, with his brother-in-law taking cover behind backyard ferns.
At first light the pair moved inside the house - soon after Mr Reeves spotted a man taking items from the clothes line before entering the neighbour's property. He yelled at the thief who took off, throwing panties away as he ran. The men ran him down about one kilometre away.
"He was pretty embarrassed,'' Mr Reeves said. A 38-year-old Dunedin man will appear in Dunedin District Court on two burglary charges.