We've all taken our clothes from the dryer or off the washing line to fold them, and found that the gremlins have struck again – leaving us a sock short or two.
Now imagine it’s only women’s underwear mysteriously disappearing, and it happens over and over again, for a whole year.
That’s what has been happening to numerous residents in towns in south-western France, who realised it wasn’t the wind, or their own forgetfulness that had stolen dozens of knickers, but rather a kinky kleptomaniac, with a particular penchant for under-garments of the female variety.
However one husband in Naintré near Poitiers was only able to take so much of his wife being left panty-less.
Dominique, decided enough was enough, when his wife became too scared to even leave the home.
Having observed the pattern of thefts – Wednesday and Sunday nights – he set up a sophisticated CCTV system in the back garden about a month ago, and began doing night watches until 3 or 4am.
It worked. One night recently the cameras captured the thieving undies-enthusiast in the garden, gloved, wearing a hat and scarf masking his face, and helping himself to certain carefully-selected items from a clothes rack.
Vindicated, Dominique upped the ante in terms of his surveillance, extending his vigil from 8pm to 6am.
CCTV still of the culprit. Photo: Screengrab/ Europe 1
On Sunday night, he set up stall in a shed, and waited. At around 5.30 am on Monday, the man who had stolen around 70 pairs of knickers from his wife, made his appearance. The husband then launched a commando style raid before the thief could make off with his wife's underwear again.
“He got down on his knees and went over underneath the clothes rack,” Dominique told local paper La Nouvelle République. “I was in a little shed with the door half open, and I jumped out on top of him, but I slipped because it had been raining,” he added.
“At that point my two sons intervened, and got him under control in the end. They tied his feet together and we waited for the police.”
The culprit admitted everything, confessing to stealing underwear from women in the nearby towns of Châtellerault and Cenon in the Vienne department.
When police found and searched his car, they discovered over 30 pairs of knickers, which were then taken as evidence.
The 35-year-old local man will now face community service, rather than a criminal trial and custodial sentence, according to La Nouvelle République.