There are some circumstances in which your landlord or your building's superintendent is permitted to enter your apartment (see below), but huffing and stealing your underwear is not one of them. This was the unsettling scenario experienced by one Ashley Chase, a financial analyst who started to notice some of her panties were quietly disappearing earlier this year. Men's underwear has been known to grow legs and walk away in disgust, but Chase was baffled as to where her panties, bras, and bikini tops had wound up. Then she started doing surveillance in her apartment.

Using an iPhone app, Chase caught the building's superintendent, José Cedillo, entering her apartment when he knew she was headed out of town for Labor Day weekend. The phone was set up to record footage from her front hallway, so there's no coverage of Cedillo rifling through her underwear drawer. But, after disappearing from frame for several minutes, the video does show him making his way out of the apartment apparently sniffing a pair of panties.

"I don’t want to think what he was doing, but everyone has theories — and I’m sure not good," Chase told the NY Post. She informed police and Cedillo was arrested on charges of burglary as a sexually motivated felony and petit larceny. According to court papers obtained by the tabloid, Cedillo confessed to the crime, explaining, "I went in today to look around. I took a pair of panties. I left, I went downstairs, I sniffed them, and I threw them in the garbage."

Chase is now suing her landlords and her building manager TMS Management. (TMS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

Of course, this is hardly the first time a tenant's unmentionables have been violated by a nosy super or landlord. In 2009, an Upper East Side woman sued her landlord for allegedly entering her apartment without permission and rifling through her underwear drawer, among other things. This is probably a lot more common than any of us care to admit. Let's not think about it.

City housing code [pdf] permits a landlord to enter a tenant’s apartment "in some situations... at a reasonable time after providing reasonable notice if the entry is either to provide necessary or agreed upon repairs or services, or in accordance with the lease, or to show the apartment to prospective tenants or purchasers." The landlord is also permitted to enter at any time and without notice if it's an emergency, but not if it's just a random panty raid.