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Panty thief gets probation, treatment

5:35 AM, Mar 11, 2008   |    comments
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Chih Hsien Wu, a husband and father, stole women's undergarments in several apartment complex laundry facilities between September 2006 and May 2007.

Fort Collins police found bras, panties, stretch pants and other undergarments in Wu's home on the 1000 block of Wabash Street and arrested him on felony theft charges.

After the arrest, 12 women identified their clothing for police. Wu pleaded guilty to the charges.

"I feel very shameful for what I've done," said Wu through a court translator. He speaks Mandarin Chinese. "I feel very sorry. I shouldn't have done it, and I'm very sorry to the whole community."

Before sentencing Judge Terence Gilmore asked for an explanation as to why Wu chose to steal only women's underwear, although the defense claimed the crime lacked a sexual component.

Wu said he had no explanation for his actions.

"It's an issue of impulsivity control," Gilmore said. "There is obvious depression, anxiety and emotional distress. He tries to resist but then falls back in the pattern. But the court is left with an unexplained reason of why only women's underwear."

Wu, although not required to register as a sex offender or seek sex offender specific mental health treatment, will face sex offender conditions during his probation as directed by Gilmore. He will be allowed contact with his young daughter.

Wu declined comment after the hearing.

Wu and his wife, who co-owned a local restaurant, said they lost their business because of negative media coverage.

The couple plans to move to Colorado Springs where Wu found a job. Wu will be able to serve his probation in El Paso County.

(Copyright Fort Collins Coloradoan, All Rights Reserved)

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