Man charged in theft of lingerie from apartments Police say obsession with clothing began with unusual date

October 10, 1997|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

What started out as an unusual date for an Annapolis man more than a year ago grew into an obsession with women's lingerie and ended in his arrest on charges of stealing nearly 200 pieces of intimate clothing from several apartments, county police said.

Jeffrey Jorgensen, 42, of the first block of Murray Ave. was charged Oct. 3 with three counts of first-degree burglary and one count of theft after he confessed to a bizarre series of break-ins at the Harbor Gates apartments outside Annapolis.

Leslie Myers, a resident of the apartment complex, told police she began noticing bras and panties missing from her apartment last October, but there never were any signs of an intruder.

Perplexed, she complained to police in January that she suspected the perpetrator had a key, police said.

Police say she was right.

According to officers' reports, the suspect met a woman at a local bar in August 1996 who invited him to her apartment to take pornographic photographs of her. After the date, the woman gave the man a key with an open invitation to return, police said.

When he returned, the woman had moved out, but he kept the key and later used it to open the door after Myers moved in, police said. Court records show the man confessed to breaking into that apartment and stealing lingerie three or four times before March 22, when he was confronted by Myers' boyfriend, Charles High-smith.

Highsmith awakened about 10 a.m. to find the man in the apartment. The suspect told him he was a maintenance worker and left quickly, police said.

In the meantime, the suspect collected other apartment keys hidden under floor mats, in garbage Dumpsters and over doors in the complex, broke in and stole more clothing, police said.

On July 10, the man was caught a second time when Raymond Hoffman tried opening his door and felt someone pushing against him, police said. When Hoffman finally got the door open, the suspect, clad in an Oxford shirt, black tie and dark slacks, told him he was from maintenance and fled, according to court records.

Hoffman's wife, Anna, later found a Victoria's Secret store bag with panties and garter belts from her bedroom dresser that the burglar had dropped by the door, court records show.

Hoffman called police with a detailed description of the mustachioed intruder, and this month, after Detective Tracy Williams investigated all the maintenance workers, Williams used Hoffman's description to distribute a composite sketch in the apartment complex.

Last week, Annapolis police Officer Brian Antal was off duty and working as a security guard in the complex when he saw a man fitting the description. Antal stopped the man and called county police.

Williams questioned the man who told him he needed help, then went to the man's truck to retrieve a bag full of undergarments he had taken from several apartments, police said. The man told Williams he had more lingerie at his house and agreed to meet him the next day with the rest of the clothes, police said.

On Oct. 3, the man showed up with a box of clothing -- the remainder of the 182 items stolen from the apartments -- and Williams arrested him. Police said the man had 14 apartment keys, but they don't know how many apartments he may have entered.

"We probably have more ladies out there who had lingerie missing, but who would have called us?" mused Carol Frye, a department spokeswoman.

Police ask that women who may have had lingerie stolen call 410-222-8610.

Pub Date: 10/10/97

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