Landlord Caught Allegedly 'Sniffing' Tenants' Underwear on Camera Arrested

To the list of all the landlord horror stories out there, add this one.

Last week, an East Haven, Connecticut, landlord was arrested on claims that he had entered his renter's home without permission—and had rummaged through both her and her daughter's underwear.

According to an East Haven Police Department press release, the unnamed tenant first reported issues with the landlord, identified as Jorge Orellana-Arias, in early May, alleging that he had entered her apartment multiple times when she and her daughter weren't home. She told police that he would go through their clothing and underwear, though it appears that at the time, she lacked evidence to support the claim.

"Once she suspected someone was entering her dwelling, she went to great lengths to make it difficult to get into her apartment, including barricading adjoining doors," explained the police, per their press release. That, however, wasn't enough of a deterrent: Orellana-Arias allegedly "used another door to gain access to her apartment."

In order to prove that someone was entering their home while it was unoccupied, the tenant "decided to set up hidden cameras in several locations throughout the house including her bedroom and her daughter's bedroom." And, according to footage viewed by police, the plan appeared to have worked.

"She stated that the camera caught Orellana-Arias entering her apartment through a side door, before proceeding to both bedrooms where he would locate female underwear," said police. "The video, which was provided to officers, shows Orellana-Arias bringing female garments to his nose, apparently in an effort to sniff them."

The 38-year-old landlord is also alleged to have entered the home "on at least one occasion" when the tenant's daughter was home alone. That time, "Orellana-Arias appeared to be startled when he saw the daughter and exited the apartment immediately," explained the report.

Orellana-Arias was arrested Thursday on third-degree burglary charges and is out on $25,000 bond. He is expected to return to court mid-September.

Handcuffed Man
According to East Haven, Connecticut, police, a video shows "[Jorge] Orellana-Arias bringing female garments to his nose, apparently in an effort to sniff them." A man wearing handcuffs after being arrested, May 2020. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

While horrific, claims like those made by the East Haven tenant aren't entirely uncommon. On Reddit, users often use the platform to share their nightmarish renting experiences, ranging from stalker landlords to black mold infestations. In one terrifying tale, a tenant came home early from a trip and found their landlord and his friends smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, and playing poker in their living room. In another, a renter discovered a six-inch hole in the closet ceiling—which the landlord defended as a "fresh air exchange system."

Meanwhile, in May, a Georgia family discovered a snake den in the ceiling of their rented home. The house was reportedly also infested with bees, roaches and rats—all of which, including the snakes, the landlord allegedly refused to address. "I'm dreaming that a snake is going to fall on me," said the distressed tenant. "I can't sleep."

Update 4:02 p.m. 7/28/2021: This story has been updated to include a statement from the East Haven Police Department.