Police: Thief steals woman's underwear twice

Posted at 2:30 PM, Dec 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-28 22:54:33-05

A Mesa man seems to have taken a keen interest in women's underwear as he's accused of stealing them from a neighbor twice.

On the morning of December 20th, Mesa police were called to an apartment near Center and McKellips where a woman told them her screen door had been cut and items were missing from her apartment. 

Court records show that the victim was missing jewelry, her vehicle title and several under garments. A derogatory word was also written on the wall in lipstick.

Police say as they talked with other apartment residents they noticed fresh scratches on the arm of 33-year-old Thomas Zuniga Vela. The scratches had a distinct pattern and looked like they may have been caused by reaching through a cut screen door.

Police received permission and searched Vela's apartment and found a pair of men's short with a wrench hidden in them inside the laundry room. They also found jewelry, lipstick and women's panties.

Vela's girlfriend told police the panties and lipstick were not hers, according to documents.

Police say that the victim told them that this was not the first break-in at her apartment. She said that on November 30th there was another burglary and the suspect took similar items including all her bra's which she found scattered over her car in the apartment parking lot. 

After police confronted Vela, he admitted to both crimes.

Vela was booked into jail on two counts of burglary.