PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Tide laundry detergent is known to fight dirt and grime; now, though, it’s arguably a victim of dirty crime. Police say Tide is being stolen off store shelves and dealt on the black market.
Plano police recently confiscated Tide and other items stolen to resell at flea markets…or simply out of the trunks of cars at area laundromats.
“Oh, my God,” was the response Blanca Reyes had when she learned people are stealing and dealing her favorite laundry product.
Stealing Tide seems to be part of a growing national trend. Video surveillance out of Minnesota shows a man stealing the product off store shelves at a Wal-Mart. The 53-year-old is charged with theft, accused of stealing over $6,000 worth of it.
And that’s one reason Liquid Tide is called Liquid Gold in some police circles. Packages are small and the fluid is highly concentrated. “This container of Tide is 100 oz. and it’ll do 64 loads of laundry,” says Kroger’s Gary Huddleston.
Stolen Tide can command up to ten dollars on the black market. Part of the reason for the popularity is its brand. Tide has been around almost 70-years in bright orange packaging that a lot of people remember. “It’s highly recognizable, and again, it’s easy for a thief to sell, or resell, out on the street,” says Huddleston.
Huddleston adds while it’s not a ‘huge’ issue here yet, professional rings that steal razor blades, baby formula, and other personal care products are now turning more and more to Tide. “We don’t view this as just a shoplifter, we view this as an organized retail crime syndicate that is targeting specific products in a supermarket …. and Kroger is part of a group that’s trying to put stiffer penalties on criminals that are trafficking in that type of product.”
Blanca Reyes says she’s even been offered black market Tide on the street… but she sticks to store-bought. “It’s quality, it’s perfect and everything is okay.”
Locally, Target says their stores are aware of the issue, and will deal with any thefts like this through proper channels.
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