A New York woman was shocked to discover her building’s super sniffing her underwear and stealing lingerie in her apartment while she was away.
Ashley Chase, a 26-year-old financial analyst living in Manhattan, said she first suspected something was going on when she returned from a trip last Labor Day to find her purple lace bra missing, the New York Post reports. More undergarments soon began disappearing, including a black-and-gold bikini, a tan bra and several pairs of panties.
“I also realized at that point that underwear I had worn that weekend that were in the dirty hamper were missing,” she told the Post.
In July, Chase decided to investigate. She borrowed an old iPhone from her sister and installed an app called Presence, which activates the phone’s camera with a motion sensor. She hid the phone on an end table pointing towards the front door.
On Sept. 4, Chase left for a trip and took the elevator down with her super, 32-year-old Jose Cedillo. Just 10 minutes later, she received a notification that the camera had been activated.
“He saw me leave, he saw me with my bag, and he knew I was heading out,” she said.
Shocking surveillance footage showed Cedillo entering Chase’s apartment and turning on the lights. He disappeared from view for several minutes before reappearing and sniffing a pair of the young woman’s underwear.
(Jose Cedillo entering Ashley Chase's apartment. Photo Credit: Screenshot/New York Post)
“I don’t want to think what he was doing, but everyone has theories — and I’m sure not good,” Chase said.
Chase called the police, who subsequently arrested Cedillo and charged him with burglary as a sexually motivated felony and petit larceny.
“I went in today to look around," Cedillo reportedly admitted to police. "I took a pair of panties. I left, I went downstairs, I sniffed them, and I threw them in the garbage."
(Jose Cedillo in Ashley Chase's home. Photo Credit Screenshot/New York Post)
“I went in another time a few months ago," he added. "I don’t remember when.”
Cedillo was later freed on $50,000 bond.
Chase, however, plans to file a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court on Nov. 23 against Cedillo, as well as the building's landlords and manager.
There have been a number of reported incidents over the past several years of landlords violating tenants’ privacy, including a notable incident in 2013 in which a woman discovered that her landlord had placed a hidden camera in her smoke detector in order to film her having sex, the Huffington Post reported at the time.