Panty, sex toy thefts rise in New Brunswick

The RCMP have received three more reports of thefts of women's undergarments and sex toys from homes in Kent County, including one that occurred on Wednesday.

That brings the total number of reported incidents in the Saint-Paul and Sainte-Marie areas to 16, said Sgt. Scott Sawyer, the RCMP's media relations officer for the province.

As in the 13 previously reported cases, no one was home at the time of the thefts, he said.

"Police are asking people to be vigilant about locking their doors and windows, even during the daytime, as these thefts have taken place at various times of the day and night," said Sawyer.

Neighbours are also being asked to look out for one another.

The major crime unit continues to investigate and is asking anyone who may have been a victim to a similar theft, or who has witnessed suspicious activity in the areas, to contact police or Crime Stoppers, he said.

Most of the cases, including the three latest, involved someone breaking into residences between the end of July and early November.

There was also one report of undergarments being stolen from a clothesline, and a similar break-in in the area in July 2010.

It's unclear whether there's one or more people involved.

Some area residents have expressed concerns about how such crimes might progress.

Police consider it a serious matter, said Sawyer.

Last week, police issued a news release about the investigation, which involved nine cases at that time. Since then, more victims have come forward.

People shouldn't be embarrassed to report such crimes, said Sawyer.

"Obviously we keep our investigations as anonymous as we possibly can, so please don't be afraid to come forward," he said. "We are police officers, we see different things and there's nothing you're going to tell us that's going to shock us.

"It's very important that people report these crimes because unfortunately, without that information, we're missing pieces of the investigation, so we're looking at all these events as one whole picture, so we need all of those pieces to to put this investigation together."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the RCMP or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Information leading to an arrest could result in a cash award of up to $2,000.

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