A woman living in a Manhattan apartment building was horrified to learn her underwear was stolen from the laundry by a stranger when she watched the caper unfold on surveillance video after the theft.
Elisabeth Santana, who lives in Kips Bay, said she was doing laundry in her apartment building last month and returned to find her underwear and athletic wear missing from the dryer. Puzzled, she asked her building superintendent if she could look at the surveillance video from the laundry room.
The video obtained by Santana shows a young man going into the laundry room, at one point looking at her while she has her back to him. He leaves, then returns after Santana has deposited her clothing in the dryer and left the room.
The man rummages through Santana's towels and clothing, stealing only her underwear, then leaves.
"It's strange for me to watch this video and see he's looking through my personal clothes," she said.
"I was completely grossed out," she said. "The fact that it happened in my building, I felt unsafe and violated."
Surveillance video from the lobby of the building shows the alleged burglar walking into the complex on his cell phone, acting as if he lived there.
Santana's building superintendent told her other buildings in the area have seen similar laundry thefts, where someone gets into buildings without doormen and steal only women's laundry. Laundry was also taken in Santana's building three months earlier, the super said.
Santana filed a report with the 13th Precinct police station. Police said they have not received any other reports of stolen laundry in the area.
Santana said she feels lucky she didn't catch the suspect in the act, but worries it's happening more often and could escalate. She's planning to post his picture in her building and around the neighborhood.