A National University of Singapore (NUS) student was sentenced to six weeks in prison on Monday (4 Jan) after he broke into a dormitory room to steal the female occupants’ underwear, on multiple occasions.
The student is a 25-year-old who had won a scholarship to pursue higher education at NUS. According to the Chinese daily, he broke into a female dormitory room on five occasions across a three-week period last year. Between 14 Jan and 8 Feb, he stole six pieces of underwear belonging to the four occupants of the room.
The victims, who did not have a habit of locking their door, did not realise that their underwear had been stolen. One of the victims thought she had just placed the undergarments elsewhere – until she heard rumours that there was an “underwear thief” somewhere on campus.
The offender was caught after he broke into the unlocked room to steal more underwear on 8 Feb and bumped into one of the victims who was returning to her unit. The scholarship student ran away in fright and the victim quickly sought help from a security guard.
The police were called to investigate and identified the offender through surveillance footage. The student was subsequently arrested and the police seized some female underwear from his home.
The scholarship student told the court that he was obsessed with women’s underwear and that he took the stolen underwear home to masturbate before discarding the underwear. He claimed that he committed the crime at a time when he was under great pressure from his last year in school and was also facing stress after a recent break-up.
The court also heard that the offender knew the layout of the dormitory since he had lived there before and added that it was close to his college.
The student’s defense sought probation, pleading that the student’s scholarship was suspended after the incident. Asserting that “every graduate will be under great pressure” and this cannot be an excuse to commit a crime, the prosecution noted that the student planned to commit a crime and tried not to leave traces when stealing, in order to avoid getting caught.
The 25-year-old was convicted of three charges of theft on Monday, with another charge of theft and five charges of trespassing under consideration. He was denied probation and was sentenced to six weeks in jail.
This is not the first time an NUS student has been caught stealing underwear. In November, a 20-year-old student admitted that he trespassed into dormitory premises to steal bags of laundry due to the urge to look at women’s undergarments.