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Student in underwear chases thief in Taiwan's Kaohsiung, dubbed 'Captain Underpants'

Student catches thief red-handed, sprints after him without putting on clothes

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Chen chasing thief in his underwear. (Kaohsiung City Police Department Hunei Precinct GIF)

Chen chasing thief in his underwear. (Kaohsiung City Police Department Hunei Precinct GIF)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After running into a suspicious stranger in his apartment while brushing his teeth, a student chased the man through the streets in his underwear, which later earned him the nickname “Captain Underpants.”

The Kaohsiung City Police Department Hunei Precinct said that it received a report from the 19-year-old student, surnamed Chen (陳), about a man who had stolen from his apartment Sunday afternoon (Feb. 27). When officers arrived at the scene, Chen told them the suspect had fled, but the police were able to track him down after reviewing surveillance footage.

Formosa Television reported that because most of the other tenants in Chen’s apartment building are students from the same school, when Chen saw the stranger, he approached him and asked what he was doing. The man, who appeared to be in his 20s, replied that he was there to pack clothes before running downstairs and out onto the street.

Chen said in an interview that he should have been able to catch up with the suspect, but he became aware of the fact he was only in his underwear, which made him a little embarrassed. Chen said, “I kept my head low as I walked back with the backpack (which the suspect had thrown away)” after losing him.

Though Chen’s classmates jokingly dubbed him “Captain Underwear” after the incident, his response also garnered him praise, per Formosa Television.

Student in underwear chases thief in Taiwan's Kaohsiung, dubbed 'Captain Underpants'
(Kaohsiung City Police Department Hunei Precinct GIF)

According to the police, the suspect still made off with stolen goods worth around NT$38,400 (US$1,365) that belong to two other students, including a laptop, a watch, a coin bank, clothes, shampoo, and skincare products. The police department has formed a task force to bring in the suspect for interrogation.

The police added that it had created a network with all schools within the precinct, forming a “Campus Safeguarding Group” so schools can share emergency messages with officers. Police will also continue to work closely with schools to ensure the safety of students who rent apartments off campus.