Alleged panty thief arrested, accused of 6-month crime spree

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The man caught on video stealing about 200 pairs of ladies underwear in August is now under arrest facing charges in several similar thefts, according to Indianapolis Metropolitan Police.

Metro Police arrested 45-year old Terry Benyon Monday evening after a loss prevention manager spotted him at the Stein Mart store located near 86th Street and Ditch Road.  The loss prevention manager told police Benyone appeared to be casing the store for another theft, police say.

“She recognized him from a store in Hamilton County that he had stolen from, and from the West 86th Street store that he had stolen from,” said IMPD Detective Michael Schollmeier.

Following his arrest, Schollmeier says Benyon admitted to stealing women’s underwear and other clothing from multiple stores at multiple shopping malls in the Indianapolis area.  Stores included Victoria’s Secret, The Gap, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Stein Mart and Urban Outfitters.  Malls included Circle Centre Mall, Keystone at the Crossing, Castleton Square Mall and Greenwood Park Mall.

Schollmeier believes Benyon also stole clothing from stores at Hamilton Town Center and Clay Terrace, although officials from those shopping locations had not filed charges as part of the case as of Tuesday afternoon.

Over six months, Schollmeier believes Benyon stole at least $20,000 worth of merchandise from the stores.  Benyon’s pickup truck was also located near the Stein Mart store when he was arrested Monday.

“He told me that there was several pair of panties from Urban Outfitters and a jacket that he had stolen from Stein Mart still in the truck,” Schollmeier said.

A search of the truck at Indy Auto Return Tuesday turned up a stolen coat and a bag full of stolen panties.

Schollmeier says Benyon confessed to selling the stolen clothing outside gas stations and liquor stores.  Benyon allegedly admitted to treating the thefts like his full time job, and sole source of income.

“He told me that he was charging about three dollars for a pair of panties,” Schollmeier said.  “And the coats, it just depended on what kind of coat it was, and where he got the coat from.”

Schollmeier also said Benyon was not happy with news coverage of his prior theft from The Gap store, where he allegedly made off with about 200 pairs of panties.

“He was a little upset that we insinuated that he had a panty fetish,” Schollmeier said.  “He said that that’s not the case at all, that he just does this stuff to make money.  And he’s selling this stuff to help provide to help him pay his bills.”

Online records show Terry Benyon has a long criminal history including theft and robbery.  His alleged 6-month theft spree started shortly after he was last released from jail, according to police.

Benyon was being held on ten preliminary counts of Theft, and one preliminary count of Corrupt Business Influence.  The Marion County Prosecutors office will determine any formal charges to be filed.

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