Why do people steal laundry?

I live in a large high rise apartment complex in Chicago. Last night, I washed a load of new towels and then put them in the dryer. I fell asleep and the woke up this morning at 6 am and went to the laundry room to get them. They were not there.

OK, I’m a jerk for leaving my laundry in a dryer overnight, although Saturday night in Chicago isn’t a huge laundry night. There are about 20 washers and 20 dryers so there is plenty of space for people to wash and dry even if a few machines are in use or have clothes in them.

Most of the apartments in this building are studios or one bedrooms and I haven’t seen any kids except infants.

So who actually steals laundry? Rent here starts around $900 a month and most of the residents seem like working professionals like me.

People will steal anything that’s not nailed down.

I stole a hot girl’s panties from the laundry once. She had left all of her laundry in the dryer for a good 30 minutes after it was done, and I noticed them in the process of moving her stuff out of the machine to put my stuff in. I jerked off in them and trashed them. I recognize this was supremely creepy but I was in a weird spot at the time. :smack:

I had a breast pump stolen from the parents’ room at work (a major bank). The room required swipe key access, so only another (presumably) female staff member could have taken it. I’m still furious about it; it was expensive enough to be a pain to replace (~$170), but cheap enough to make me aghast that someone paid as well as the bank pays would have the nerve to steal something as necessary as that. People shit me sometimes.

I found some brand new towels someone left in a dryer when I was in Chicago, visiting a friend in some apartments during a layover onwards to Vancouver the other…Oh wait…:eek:

It seems like leaving laundry in the dryer is a big enough pet peeve for some people that I could imagine them throwing your stuff away simply as a punitive measure, even if there are plenty of machines. After all, you’re going to think twice about leaving your stuff down there again, right?

Although a load of towels may be an excellent target of opportunity. If you steal someone’s load of clothes, chances are they won’t fit so unless you’re swiping them for your devious perversions like our friend Blackzilla, what’s the point? But anyone can use towels, and some people seem to have a “take a penny, leave a penny” attitude with towels. I know I do-- I hate buying the stupid things and steal them whenever possible, although my dubious code of towel morality would prevent me from taking them from an individual. I am allegedly a working professional adult.

Maybe to sell it? Like Helena Bonham Carter’s character did in Fight Club? But that’s for regular laundry. With towels it’s different, because anyone can use any size towel.

When I did laundry in a similarly-sized laundry room back in college, I never left it unattended for this very reason. There was just WAY too much traffic through the place to risk it. Didn’t matter what time of the day or week. Unless you’re in a small building and know all your neighbors fairly well, and know that access is restricted to residents (by lock and key), I wouldn’t risk it.

Sometimes we all run out of toilet paper.

I’m with Panda. My apartment building was bad enough that I just camped the laundry room until my things were done… because between the desperate and the lawless, things did go missing when I did not (and when I still fit skinny Levis :stuck_out_tongue: :confused::smack: )

There you go.

Seriously, I am constantly shocked anew at the theft and corruption in that city.

I once put a banana on a table in a Chicago bus station for about 90 seconds to play a video game. The bus station was nearly deserted, I didn’t see anyone around, and I figured “it’s a banana, and I’m standing maybe 15 feet away. Who would steal it?”

A Chicagoan, that’s who.

Bear in mind I’ve spent maybe 48 hours in that city, total, and had something stolen in that short time frame.

Then there’s the ridiculous asshats at the property tax office there. They are literally the least helpful and useful property tax office in the entire country. Ask any bank mortgage customer service agent who has to call hundreds of tax offices yearly, like I did. These jerks just don’t want to work.

Then, of course, there’s the lovely long list of convicted felons that Chicagoans manage to vote into office. People get the government they deserve, I suppose, though.

My best friend lived in Madison, WI for about 6 years, and he says the FIBs from Chicago (Freakin’ Illinois Bastards) are universally despised for their scams in Wisconsin.

Chicago should be forced to change its name to Scam City. It’d be more honest.

This. Plus the fact that it’s aggravating to haul other people’s laundry out of machines. Hell, Saturday night WAS a big laundry night back when I used public machines, not in just one city, but about half a dozen cities. That was some years ago, though. Now that we’ve got our own machines, we tend to do most laundry over the weekend. Still, back when I used laundromats, it was quite possible that every machine would be in use during a Friday or Saturday night.

Towels are particularly vulnerable because everyone needs them, and most towels can be used by most people. Sure, the thicker, bigger towels are better, but even hand towels are useful for bathrooms AND kitchens.

Really, though, people will steal the oddest things, even if the item is of no use to them. Some people get a thrill from stealing. Getting a useful item is a bonus to the thrill.

Somebody stole my laundry once, when I was a penniless grad student. Most of my clothes were worn out and worthless…though I surmise they were worth something to someone.

I had two silky chemises stolen out of my college laundry. I knew why they were stolen, though. :eek: I really liked them, too. :frowning:

I had prescription glasses stolen once in college – fell asleep at the computer terminal with my glasses next to the keyboard; they were gone when I woke. Wouldn’t have done anyone any good to have them; must have been pure spite or something.

Towels seem more universally useful. Galactically, even. Maybe it was a Hitchhiker?


I once lived in what I’d call a nice middle class apartment complex. Somebody stole my tighty whitey underwear. But it wasn’t white. Most of it was stained brown due to exposure to mud. And I didn’t even leave it for any excessive length of time cause I was kinda anal about not doing that. Heck, they might have even taken it before the drying cycle was over.

Go figure.

It is annoying to have to pull out other people’s laundry, but I don’t feel like that would actually make anyone steal it. People who aren’t willing to steal laundry won’t become thieves due to inconvenience.

I guess I could imagine someone pulling them out and leaving them on the floor (as a “fuck you” message), then someone else seeing apparently discarded towels and either taking them or throwing them away.

Some memories should just stay in your head.

Well, it was Sat night & they were in my size. :eek: Ummm…sorry? :wink:

Wow! “Underwear”, “stained brown”, & “anal” in consecutive sentences & he’s not talking about shitting himself; whoda thunk it.

I’m with RedWood and Lynn Bodoni: this. Anything not tied down will eventually grow legs and walk away. It’s only a matter of time.

I’m also with ExcitedIdiot in post #17.

I once turned my back at a table in a fast food place with my unopened soda bottle on it while making a cell call, just to notice it GONE…and then to see a woman going out the door with it. I for whatever reason leap to my feet and yanked that baby out of her hand before she could react, then she wanted to fist fight and I said bring it bitch(I’m a man but I’m not letting some bitch threaten and touch me just because she has a vagina).

She saw I wasn’t backing down and left after people in the place were yelling to call the cops on her.

The funny thing is I had no time to think about any of it logically, in hindsight I probably wouldn’t have cared. But weird things happen when you catch me distracted.

So yes people will even steal 99 cent sodas.