Winter Haven police detective Ken Brewer said he met his girlfriend at Bealls Outlet after leaving work at 5 p.m. Friday and clerks who saw his badge informed him a customer had been spotted concealing items in his shorts, The Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger reported Tuesday.
Brewer said he approached Benjamin Gilbert Kennedy, 57, and saw a pair of pink women's underwear hanging out of his pocket with the tag still attached.
The detective said Kennedy struggled with him and gave him several fake names.
Police said Kennedy was found to have shoved a polo shirt and 25 pairs of panties into his shorts and a girdle he was wearing. Investigators said he was also carrying a pair of wire cutters to remove security tags from merchandise.
Kennedy, who had been released the previous week after an arrest on charges including loitering, was booked into the Polk County Jail on charges of retail theft, resisting an officer with violence and battery on an officer.
Police said they do not know why Kennedy targeted the women's underwear.