Bangkok thief caught with 10,000 pairs of panties; sniffed them while driving

Thai news is often funny, but the latest story captivating Thailand is the one about the Bangkok thief who police pulled over only to discover, not only was he an accomplished safe cracker, but he was also an avid collector of women’s underwear. More than 10,000 pairs, if Thai police counted correctly.

Danai Raiwet, 48, was splashed all over Thai television last night. In Thai culture, it doesn’t matter if a person is innocent or not, if arrested by police he’s likely to be shown on Thai TV soon after, surrounded by reporters, and vowing he’s going to become a monk (in Thailand, becoming a monk for a few weeks or months often saves an accused from a severe sentence).

Mr. Raiwet was arrested on Tuesday evening after he and an accomplice allegedly broke into a safe at a company called Metro Praken 2001 Limited, and stole around $1,330 (41,000 baht) in cash.

Police searched his home, as he’s also suspected of having taken $32,250 (1 million baht) from another break-in. During their search they uncovered around 10,000 pairs of women’s panties, some clean, some unwashed, all stashed away by Mr. Raiwet, apparently for decades.

According to Mr. Raiwet, who was interviewed by reporters, he’d been collecting the underwear since he was 18-years-old, so some of it was almost antique.

One thousand pairs of panties were also in his car, when he was pulled over by police, who said he’d told them he sniffed them while driving.

That Mr. Raiwet suffers from a sexual fetishism is not likely to be disputed, and one that Thai anchors had no problems making fun of (“having your knickers nicked” was a common one (knickers (panties), nicked (stolen) in British English).

Funny though, although he’ll be charged with the first safe-cracking offence, and likely the second one too, Mr. Raiwet will not be charged with stealing panties, even though he freely admits he stole almost all of them.

That’s because so far no women have come forward to complain he has their undies, so on this offence at least, he should be spared.