Serial lingerie looter targeting south Angelina County homes

The lingerie looter, a serial burglar with a fetish for women's underwear is targeting south Angelina County homes and authorities are asking for the public's help to find the culprit.

The Angelina County Sheriff's Office is seeking information about 14 burglaries in south Angelina County where an individual is stealing women's underwear and sometimes photographs.

Lt. Pete Maskunas says, "The criminal that is committing these crimes is utilizing the same time, stealing the same types of things, his methods of entry are similar and so we believe that there's a chance that it's a person, an individual that may live within that area."

Maskunas says the burglaries are happening in a pretty defined area from Highway 59 to FM 819, down FM 58 and FM 1818.

"These have been occurring for about 2 years now," said Maskunas. "We had a rash of 3 or 4 of them, then they would go for 6 months or so and we wouldn't have anything. Then we'd maybe have another 1 or 2. Most recently we had one about a month ago and it was actually in a location that the burglar had struck before six months prior, went back to the same house, same M-O, same type of items taken so this is going to be somebody that's in the area – that's watching the area. It may be a person that has business in the area. Could be a person that does door-to-door sales or installation of television, there could be any number of persons that would be in an area that would have the opportunity to be there."

Authorities have been investigating this series of bizarre burglaries for more than 2 years. They believe it's one person with the same M-O. The suspect is targeting the FM 58 area around Diboll. They're targeting homes during the daytime and they're stealing women's underwear.

Maskunas says the profile of this person is probably male.

"The statistics would show that it's more likely than not a male but we don't want to narrow that down to any particular gender or stereotype because frequently we'll have a burglar or person that does this type of serial activity," said Maskunas.

Authorities say folks should be on the look out for unfamiliar vehicles parked or stopped during the day, any suspicious activity, or persons loitering in the area more than expected.

Counselor, Dr. Deborah Burton says this behavior could be suggestive of fetishism.

"Fetishism is when an individual is sexually aroused, sexually satisfied and ultimately achieves sexual gratification through the use of inanimate, non-living objects, such as women's underwear," said Burton.

Dr. Burton says for an individual to be diagnosed with fetishism he or she must meet some specific criteria: "It's got to go on for at least 6 months to meet the diagnostic criterion and the real key is that it's caused problems and discomfort and ultimately suffering for the individual that is exhibiting this type of behavior. In this case, they've resorted to stealing also the risk taking behavior, the actual stealing of the object itself becomes part of the sexual arousal often," said Burton.

Authorities say persons with information about these burglaries are encouraged to call Angelina County detective, Mark McClin at: 936-639-8748 or the CrimeStoppers tip line.

Maskunas says even the smallest details or tips could break the case and help get this burglar behind bars.

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