Hottest Item to Steal: Tide?

Or, maybe not...

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 13, 2012 12:55 PM CDT | Updated Mar 17, 2012 12:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – The latest crime wave sweeping the nation: Tide thefts. Yes, that's Tide, as in the laundry detergent. The Daily reports it's stolen so often that some cities and stores are actually forming "special task forces" and coming up with Tide-specific security procedures to fight back. Why? Apparently it's because Tide is used widely, is popular and recognizable, and, because of its high retail price, can fetch $5 to $10 per bottle on the black market. "There's no serial numbers and it's impossible to track," says one detective. "It's the item to steal." One police department refers to Tide as "liquid gold."

One thief reportedly stole $25,000 worth of Tide over 15 months before getting busted. Apparently the method of choice is to load up a cart with a bunch of bottles and run for the exit and a waiting getaway car. But some police and retailers are calling shenanigans on the story: Though name-brand household goods are indeed a target for thieves, authorities in two of the states mentioned in the story say there has been no apparent rise in stolen Tide. "We are not experiencing a 'wave' of Tide thefts," a CVS director tells Fox News, although he does acknowledge that some markets place special alarm devices on Tide.

This product image provided by Procter & Gamble Co., shows Tide Pods, three-chamber liquid unit dose pods.   (AP Photo/Procter & Gamble Co.)
Tide laundry detergent on a shelf at Sammy's Food Mart, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009, in Streetsboro, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
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We sent in an informant to buy drugs. The dealer said, 'I don't have drugs, but I could sell you 15 bottles of Tide.' - Detective Harrison Sprague

They'll do it right in front of a cop car—buying heroin or methamphetamine with Tide. We would see people walking down the road with six, seven bottles of Tide. They were so blatant about it. - Detective Rick Blake, who says Tide thieves are "users feeding their habit"

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