Underwear thief stiffed

A would-be German robber is foiled when a cash register turns out to be empty.

By Jack Boulware
Published August 7, 2000 7:24PM (EDT)

In a room somewhere just outside Berlin, a man is running his hands through a pile of stolen underwear, and thinking to himself, "Well, yes, it is underwear, and God knows I love underwear, but what I really could use is some cash."

His day had started out with a plan for the perfect crime. He would burst into a clothing store and demand a bunch of underwear and tights. Not just any clothing store, but the Clothes Chest emporium in Brandenburg, Germany. He would bring his pistol and wave it around menacingly. A gun always looks good, people would cower in fear and firearms traditionally make a burglary run a lot smoother. He would stuff a bag full of the prized undies, and just before leaving, he'd punctuate his appearance by snatching all the money in the cash register. He'd show up around closing time, so that the till would be full. Undies and cash. Quick and dirty. It was a good plan. Not much could go wrong.

Unfortunately, fate would have it otherwise. According to Berlin news reports, the man did enter the clothing store around closing time, hold up the clerk with a pistol and grab his free underwear. But when it came time to grab the cash, there was none. The owner of Clothes Chest informed the burglar that all of the customers that day had paid by credit card. The store was stocked with underwear, but the till was empty. Irritated, the man ran out the door, clutching his bagful of panties and tights.

The underwear was worth about $188, police said.

Jack Boulware

Jack Boulware is a writer in San Francisco and author of "San Francisco Bizarro" and "Sex American Style."

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