KUMAMOTO (TR) – “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high” — George Gershwin, “Summertime.”
If Gershwin had lived in Kyushu, he might have added a passage about disappearing women’s bras as Kumamoto Prefectural Police earlier this week issued a warning to residents about hanging female undergarments out to dry in summer, reports the Kumamoto Nichinichi Shimbun (July 11).
According to the Community Safety Planning Division, data obtained between 2015 and 2017 has shown that thefts of women’s underwear begin to escalate in July, with about 100 cases taking place annually.
This year, there have already been 32 cases reported. Of that figure, 10 took place in June. Kumamoto City is the hotbed for such thefts, accounting for 18 cases, the division said.
The division added that the incidents take place in summer since pleasant weather results in an increase opportunities to hang laundry outdoors — a tendency that does not go unnoticed by lust-filled prowlers.
The majority of the cases involve thieves targeting garments hung out to dry on balconies situated on lower floors of apartments and in gardens of single family residences, the division said.
A representative of the division advises women to hang their undergarments such that they are not visible to persons outside and to take them inside at night. “Motion sensor lighting can also be effective,” the representative says.