The keen interest of her dog in events outside her window alerted Cheng Lai-chun to the fact that something odd was going on. So she looked out and saw a man stealing underwear from her neighbour's drying rack, a court heard yesterday. The vigilance of the Peng Chau resident led to the appearance in Eastern Court yesterday of ATV reporter turned barrister Stanley Ma Ho-fai, 44. Ma, who has removed his name from the Bar list, denies stealing a white bra with red lace, valued at HK$360, around midday on May 3. The court heard that a wallet containing Ma's bank, credit, university access and Bar Association cards was found in a bin in Peng Chau on the day of the theft. Cheng said that when she looked out of the window, she saw a man outside the house opposite. 'I thought he was looking for someone,' she said. 'Then I saw that the drying rack near the air conditioner was moving and turning. I knew that he was stealing.' She said the man, who had his back to her, was holding a bag with his right hand and appeared to be putting things in it with his left hand. The items on the rack consisted mostly of women's underwear. Cheng shouted at the man, who fled. A neighbour, who was taking out rubbish, asked her what happened and chased the man but failed to catch him. The neighbour said that he found bras and a wallet in the bin when he was taking out the trash, Cheng said. The neighbour reported the case to the police and at about 4pm officers asked Cheng to help them identify a suspect. She met two plain-clothes officers outside the Peng Chau Sports Centre at 6.40pm. Cheng and a friend walked around the area with the two officers following, and she identified Ma outside a restaurant near the island's pier at about 7pm. Ma's counsel, Martin Lee Chu-ming SC, suggested that the police had intentionally arranged for Cheng to see Ma, but Cheng said she did not know of any such arrangement. Cheng also denied that she knew in advance the man would be coming from the pier, adding that he looked scared when she spotted him. Cheng said that there was a 50 per cent chance that she could have identified Ma in an identification parade, had one been held. The trial continues today before Magistrate Jason Wan Siu-ming.