Looking For Answers About Underwear Thefts

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WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP-- The Victoria's Secret store at the Wyoming Valley Mall has gotten a lot of attention lately. Thieves have hit the store repeatedly over the past few months, stealing hundreds of bras and panties.

Police have surveillance video of some of the thieves, but still no one has been caught.

Panty pilferers and bra bandits have hit the Victoria's Secret store inside the Wyoming Valley Mall five times in the last six months, making out with hundreds of undergarments worth well over $10,000.

"Why do you need to steal that many panties? What are you doing? Are they selling them on a black market or something? It's really ridiculous," said Samantha Hardy of White Haven

"That's crazy, it's ridiculous! They must have some panty issues," said Megan Coolbaugh of Wilkes-Barre.

Police have released surveillance video showing the suspects in action. You can see on the video it appears to be different thieves each time.

Criminal Justice Professor Robert Boyer with Luzerne County Community College, examined the video with us and say it's clear the thieves see this location as an easy target.

"The reality is sometimes retailers their just so busy. They don't make that investment in security, because they just have to ring people up and get the sales out the door," said Robert Boyer with Luzerne County Community College.

Boyer adds stores like Victoria's Secret need to know that shoplifters operate on motive, desire, and opportunity. There's a lot they can do to control how much opportunity a shoplifter has to steal their merchandise.

"Someone at the front door in those large markets is really a big advantage. At a smaller store, like Victoria's Secret, having sales clerks on the floor interacting with customers is a very key component," Boyer said.

Police are investigating the bra and panty thefts, and say they've given the store their own recommendations on how to prevent more from happening.

Neither mall security or Victoria's Secret would comment on whether they are implementing those changes.

Corporate officials with the lingerie store only sent us a statement saying they take matters of thefts seriously and are cooperating with this investigation.


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