I was at work about 10 years ago when I got a call from a reporter friend at another newspaper.
“Hey, you live at Wxxxxxxxxx Pxxxx Apartments, don’t you?” he asked.
“Yeah,” I said. “Why do you ask?”
Then I heard the roar of laughter in the background. I knew I was on his speaker phone. This had to be good.
“One of your neighbors got arrested for stealing ladies underwear from the laundry room,” he said when he was able to stop laughing.
Of course, the jokes abounded and the question had to be asked if I had any panties missing. Aside from the hilarity, he wanted to know what I knew or could find out about him.
“Give me a call if you can find anything out,” he said. “The property manager and the complex manager won’t take my calls. I’m working the late shift today. My deadline’s at 11.”
Lucky for him, I was friends with the complex manager. I stopped in to see her when I got home. She couldn’t tell me who he was because of tenant privacy laws (although I could have gone to the police station and requested a police report), but told me that when the cops searched his apartment, they found 74 pairs of women’s panties that were neatly folded and organized by color, style and size. She also assured me that he was being evicted.
About that same time, I had a kinky klepto story of my own. There was a local guy in one of the well-heeled affluent suburbs that I covered who got arrested for stealing panty hose and stockings. He was hitting real estate open houses and pilfering through bedroom dressers. The real estate agent holding one of the open houses caught him red-handed. When the cops searched his car, they found his stolen sexy stash. I wasn’t able to follow up on the story. It only ran as a police brief. Even though my editor thought the incident was weirdly amusing, there were more important stories of public interest that I had to cover.
I don’t know what made me think about this now, but apparently stealing fetish objects is a thing, kinda sorta.
Even though the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual doesn’t define kleptophilia or kleptolagnia as an official diagnosis, I came upon some information from Dr. Mark Giffiths, a therapist based in the UK. He said that fetish kleptos are sexually aroused when looking at, thinking about, or engaging in sexual play with a stolen object.
There’s been little research on kleptophilia. It’s not like there are a lot of people who steal fetish items that we know of or that they’re likely to seek help on their own. Most of the information has come from specific instances of people who have been caught stealing fetish items.
The only study Dr. Griffiths was aware of was published in 2000 and was conducted by a group of Turkish doctors. One of their subjects was a 32-year old married man who was referred for psychiatric evaluation after being arrested several times for stealing women’s underwear. In this guy’s case, he wanted to possess the fetish item but he also got off on the act of stealing.
There’s nothing diagnostically wrong with having a panty, lingerie or cross-dressing fetish whether they like collecting those garments as trophies, wearing them or, jerking off on them. I understand what kleptHowever, I’d feel violated and creeped out if a man stole those things from me. But if anyone is willing to come forward in complete confidence to tell me why they steal women’s undergarments, I’d be willing to listen and follow through with a blog post. I can be reached via the Contact button at the top of the page.