Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

GRIME WAVE: Itís a dirty job: Police nationwide take on soaring Tide detergent theft
The Daily ^ | March 12, 2012 | M.L. Nestel

Posted on 03/12/2012 3:39:59 PM PDT by Hunton Peck

Law enforcement officials across the country are puzzled over a crime wave targeting an unlikely item: Tide laundry detergent.

Theft of Tide detergent has become so rampant that authorities from New York to Oregon are keeping tabs on the soap spree, and some cities are setting up special task forces to stop it. And retailers like CVS are taking special security precautions to lock down the liquid.

One Tide taker in West St. Paul, Minn., made off with $25,000 in the product over 15 months before he was busted last year.

“That was unique that he stole so much soap,” said West St. Paul Police Chief Bud Shaver. “The name brand is [all] Tide. Amazing, huh?”

Tide has become a form of currency on the streets. The retail price is steadily high — roughly $10 to $20 a bottle — and it’s a staple in households across socioeconomic classes.

Tide can go for $5 to $10 a bottle on the black market, authorities say. Enterprising laundry soap peddlers even resell bottles to stores.

“There’s no serial numbers and it’s impossible to track,” said Detective Larry Patterson of the Somerset, Ky., Police Department, where authorities have seen a huge spike in Tide theft. “It’s the item to steal.”

Why Tide and not, say, Wisk or All? Police say it’s simply because the Procter & Gamble detergent is the most popular and, with its Day-Glo orange logo, most recognizable of brands.

George Cohen, spokesman for Philadelphia-based Checkpoint Systems, which produces alarms being tested on Tide in CVS stores, said: “Name brands are easier to resell.

“In organized retail crimes they would love to steal the iPad. It’s very easy to sell. Harder to sell the unknown Korean brand."

Most thieves load carts with dozens of bottles, then dash out the door. Many have getaway cars waiting outside.

“These are criminals coming into the store to steal thousands of dollars of merchandise,” said Detective Harrison Sprague of the Prince George’s County, Md., Police Department, where Tide is known as “liquid gold” among officers.

He and other law enforcement officials across the country say Tide theft is connected to the drug trade. In fact, a recent drug sting turned up more Tide that cocaine.

“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,’ ” Sprague told The Daily. “Upstairs in the drug dealer’s bedroom was about 14 bottles of Tide laundry soap. We think [users] are trading it for drugs.”

Police in Gresham, Ore., said most Tide theft is perpetrated by “users feeding their habit.”

“They’ll do it right in front of a cop car — buying heroin or methamphetamine with Tide,” said Detective Rick Blake of the Gresham Police Department. “We would see people walking down the road with six, seven bottles of Tide. They were so blatant about it.”

Robyn Cafasso, chief deputy district attorney in Colorado Springs, Colo., said the problem is nothing more than “organized shoplifting” and can be stopped. One method is to toughen punishments for recidivists.

“There’s this old-school thought that this is a shoplift, so it goes into the municipal system,” Cafasso said. “We’re starting to actually get more habitual offenders out of the municipal system and refile charges to make it a more serious offense.”

Cafasso agreed that there’s been a major upswing in Tide theft. “Everybody knows that liquid detergent Tide is an expensive item,” she said.

The pharmacy chain CVS is locking down Tide and other laundry detergents in certain parts of the country alongside flu medication and other commonly stolen items. Joe LaRocca, of the National Retail Federation, said: “It’s a game of cat and mouse. There’s a real balance that takes place between customer service — the product available on the shelf — and securing the merchandise.”

Officials at Tide are trying to keep their hands clean.

“We don’t have any insight as to why the phenomenon is happening, but it is certainly unfortunate,” said Sarah Pasquinucci, a spokeswoman for Procter & Gamble.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: crimewave; detergent; shoplifting; tide
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-59 next last
Sure, they're trying to downplay it. But I'll bet it's part of some huge money-laundering operation.
1 posted on 03/12/2012 3:40:11 PM PDT by Hunton Peck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck

Welcome to Obama’s America.


2 posted on 03/12/2012 3:42:28 PM PDT by dragonblustar (Allah Ain't So Akbar!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck
Darn! Wish I'd thought of that.
3 posted on 03/12/2012 3:43:23 PM PDT by davisfh
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck

Surely you jest! It’s not April 1 yet...


4 posted on 03/12/2012 3:43:33 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck
But I'll bet it's part of some huge money-laundering operation.

I'm sure they'll clean up.

5 posted on 03/12/2012 3:43:51 PM PDT by NurdlyPeon (I guess Newt is the best choice of the lot right now.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck

“Sure, they’re trying to downplay it. But I’ll bet it’s part of some huge money-laundering operation.”

And George Soros and the Tides Foundation are behind it.


6 posted on 03/12/2012 3:43:51 PM PDT by Stormdog (A rifle transforms one from subject to Citizen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck
But I'll bet it's part of some huge money-laundering operation.

Don't worry -- it'll all come out in the wash.

7 posted on 03/12/2012 3:44:57 PM PDT by Bernard Marx
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Stormdog
"And George Soros and the Tides Foundation are behind it."

Great !

You've broken the case already!

8 posted on 03/12/2012 3:51:07 PM PDT by Hunton Peck (See my FR homepage for a list of businesses that support WI Gov. Scott Walker)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck

9 posted on 03/12/2012 3:53:03 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas gerit ;-{)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck

So what specific chemical in Tide is being reduced to make Meth or some other designer drug the others do not posses??


10 posted on 03/12/2012 3:53:24 PM PDT by Norm Lenhart
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: afraidfortherepublic
I never jest sbout my wash.

And don't...oh, you know the rest...

11 posted on 03/12/2012 3:53:30 PM PDT by Hunton Peck (See my FR homepage for a list of businesses that support WI Gov. Scott Walker)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck

Bama wins a couple of national championships and look what happens.


12 posted on 03/12/2012 3:54:13 PM PDT by yawningotter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Aardvark111; ACK ACK; Al Koa; Angel of Beth; another_bot_for_W; ApeNipples; axe2grin...

I see my hands' True Life Trivia
Low Volume Ping List.
On? Off? Private Reply Please.

Per popular demand I've registered at Cabelas but, again, really not necessary.

One of my favorite commercials of all time was for Tide. There was a series of them based on a theme and they shared the same jingle. I came up empty looking for it on You Tube.

The chorus of the jingle was:

Tide gets clothes cleaner,
Cuz Tide makes water softer,
So if you want clothes cleaner,
You'd better use Tide!

The verses described different laundry needs such as a kid singing about the grass stains his Mom had to get out of his pants.


13 posted on 03/12/2012 3:55:21 PM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck

It wasn’t hard, really, an informant decided to “come clean”.

(Oh I can hear the groaning now....)


14 posted on 03/12/2012 3:56:04 PM PDT by Stormdog (A rifle transforms one from subject to Citizen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck
Even Shakespeare was in on the deal. In Julius Caesar he wrote:

"There is a Tide in the affairs of men/ Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune"

What's the profit margin on that stolen stuff again?

15 posted on 03/12/2012 3:56:04 PM PDT by Bernard Marx
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck
"I never jest sbout my wash."

I do sometimes, however, jest about it.

16 posted on 03/12/2012 3:56:17 PM PDT by Hunton Peck (See my FR homepage for a list of businesses that support WI Gov. Scott Walker)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck
Maybe it had something to do with the Daytona Nascar endorsement.


17 posted on 03/12/2012 3:59:33 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Time to beat the swords of government tyranny into the plowshares of freedom.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck
How fast was the getaway car?


18 posted on 03/12/2012 4:00:18 PM PDT by Libloather (The epitome of civility.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck

As Washington households struggle under the curse of the ‘no phosphate’ mandate, Spokanites can be seen in Coeur d’Alene Wal-Marts and Costco establishments bootlegging cases of effective detergents back over the state line. Tobacco, too, come to think of it.


19 posted on 03/12/2012 4:01:59 PM PDT by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck

P&G was supposed to introduce a new product — Tide Pods, a line of highly concentrated, three chamber liquid detergent tablets. Convenience stores would have to lock these down like they do with their razor blades!


20 posted on 03/12/2012 4:03:19 PM PDT by Starboard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-59 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson