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Jan 12 - How Tide laundry detergent is being used as hard currency by drug addicts

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 Jan 12 - How Tide laundry detergent is being used as hard currency by drug addicts
topic by pocketchange - 01-12-2013, 09:39 AM

Police have finally discovered why Tide laundry detergent is fast becoming one of the most-stolen item from shops and grocery stores in recent months - drug addicts are selling it or exchanging it to buy crack.

The pricey detergent - which has been America's number one since it was first released in 1946 - is known as 'liquid gold' on the streets, with a 150-ounce bottle going for either $5 cash or $10 of weed or crack cocaine.

In grocery stores, it sells at upwards of $20 per 150-ounce bottle, about 50 per cent more than the average liquid detergent so is easily sold on to privately-owned retail stores for a profit.

Police first reported the strange crime wave sweeping the nation in March of last year and were baffled as to the sudden surge in theft of the highly-recognizable brand.

An investigation headed by Sergeant Aubrey Thompson in Maryland found some explanation as to why.

The bright orange jugs became ad hoc street currency due to the fact it was such a popular house-hold name - whatever the income - and people were not prepared to forego buying the brand even in recessionary times because it was a$sociated with quality.

'It doesnít matter where the clothes come from, if you wash them with Tide, they do have almost this prestige wash to them,' said Maru Kopelowicz, a global creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi.

During his investigation, Sgt Thompson found that the detergent was flying off the shelves.

Speaking about one grocery store in suburban Bowie, he told New York Magazine: 'They were losing $10,000 to $15,000 a month, with people just taking it off the shelves.'


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Detergent made the National Retail Federationís list of most-targeted items last year for the first time ever.

Joseph LaRocca, founder of the trade group RetailPartners, who helped compile the report said: 'Tide was specifically called out.'

Also, stealing the detergent garners a low penalty conviction if thieves are caught - as opposed to mugging someone in the street, for example, or breaking into someone's home.

'They are smart. They are creative. They want high reward and low risk,' Sgt Thompson said. 'Theft convictions can come with a maximum fifteen-year prison sentence, but the penalty for shoplifting is often just a small fine, with no jail time.

'Itís the new dope. You can get richer and have less chance of doing jail time.'
A study of about a month's worth of security tapes showed Costanzo making four to five visits a week for the product, among other items, from January 1 to February 7

A study of about a month's worth of security tapes showed Costanzo making four to five visits a week for the product, among other items, from January 1 to February 7

Unlike other commonly-stolen items such as smartphones or electronioc devices, bottles of the cannot be traced, and they are not locked up but freely available to take off the shelves as they are so popular.

Sundar Raman, the marketing director of Procter & Gambleís North American fabric-care division, told New York Magazine of the surge in Tide thefts: 'Itís unfortunate that people are stealing Tide, and I donít think itís appropriate at all, but the one thing it reminds me of is that the value of the brand has stayed consistent.'

From the East Coast to the West, some CVS drug stores have begun locking up their detergent while some cities have set up special task forces to tackle the recent spree.

Last year, a Minnesota man was arrested after allegedly stealing more than $25,000 worth of the product.

Patrick Costanzo, 53, was arrested in West St. Paul in February after police say he loaded up his shopping cart over a period of 15 months with the cleaner, wheeling it past workers.

A study of about a month's worth of security tapes showed Costanzo making four to five visits a week for the product, among other items, from January 1 to February 7.

'Itís like he put the pieces in there like Tetris pieces,' said investigator Sean Melville of the West St. Paul police to ABC news.

'He maximized that cart, thereís no wasted space,' he said after watching the store's surveillance footage.

'We donít have any insight as to why the phenomenon is happening, but it is certainly unfortunate,' said Procter and Gamble spokeswoman Sarah Pasquinucci said in March.
Read more:

Read more: Grime wave: Surge in theft of Tide laundry detergent which is being used as hard currency to buy crack on the street | Mail Online
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44 comments for "Jan 12 - How Tide laundry detergent is being used as hard currency by drug addicts"

 01-12-2013, 10:32 AMonline - #2
Drumatic50 6 heat pts

$4,260 | 9773227
Really, slinging soap for dope? People man....
 01-12-2013, 10:49 AMaway - #3
pocketchange 36 heat pts36

$5,790 | POWERFUL
Originally Posted by Drumatic50
Really, slinging soap for dope? People man....
The first dude they caught had 97k in his bank account.
 01-12-2013, 12:20 PMonline - #4
Drumatic50 6 heat pts

$4,260 | 9773227
Originally Posted by pocketchange
The first dude they caught had 97k in his bank account.
 01-12-2013, 08:58 PMaway - #5
RAZAH CUTS 3335 heat pts3335

$42,938 | POWERFUL
####in laundry detergent is getting slung like weight for drugs now.. Lol..
 01-12-2013, 09:08 PMaway - #6
monrowe 3 heat pts

$10,061 | 14735628
this was a story a year ago... i read somewhere but i get ti but i dont get it .. but its kinda ingenious ..
 01-12-2013, 09:28 PMaway - #7
606robin 5 heat pts

$2,126 | 7344641

Your welcome
 01-12-2013, 09:28 PMaway - #8
Lex Lossis 48 heat pts48

$23,791 | POWERFUL
 01-12-2013, 09:31 PMaway - #9
606robin 5 heat pts

$2,126 | 7344641
Originally Posted by Borealis
I understand milk, but soap?
Milks shelf life (1-2 weeks)

Tide (3-5 months??)

Milk (2-3 dollars)

Tide (8-15) depending on size

 01-12-2013, 09:45 PMaway - #10
tokinjohn 482 heat pts482

$4,269 | POWERFUL
Yoooo this is real ni##a came to my job 3wks ago with that same bottle.. there must be a crack head union wtf who comes up with this ####
 01-12-2013, 09:45 PMaway - #11
Nautilus O 12 heat pts12

$7,340 | POWERFUL
You buying detergent from a crack head?
 01-12-2013, 09:49 PMaway - #12

$462 | 1285593
i used to know people that would steal baby formula an sell it to the bodegas
 01-12-2013, 09:49 PMonline - #13
Carlton Black 573 heat pts573

$6,288 | POWERFUL
Originally Posted by Nautilus O
You buying detergent from a crack head?
i'm sayin' tho....
 01-12-2013, 09:57 PMaway - #14
Cee4our 1 heat pts

$3,396 | 19473178
wtf my wife used to do that couponing #### and we have literally like 20-25 bottles of tide in the laundry room. im sittin on a gold mine, i better get a gun
 01-12-2013, 10:02 PMaway - #15

$318 | 423849
what about GAIN or ARM & HAMMER??
 01-12-2013, 10:06 PMaway - #16
lil_boosie 1 heat pts

$598 | 1980419
who the #### is buying tide like that. This cant be life
 01-12-2013, 10:12 PMaway - #17
Adwerdz 100 heat pts100

$20,864 | POWERFUL
#### i would mind buying detergent for the low from a crackhead, detergent high as ####
 01-12-2013, 10:13 PMaway - #18
ManWithoutFear! 2 heat pts

$9,189 | POWERFUL
I woulda thought that Oxy Clean would be the real dope homey.
Got some chili on one my grey sweaters one time. Mixed that Oxy Clean with the ALL, #### came out looking brand spankin' new!
Crackies need to step their detergent games up.
 01-12-2013, 10:39 PMaway - #19

$1,846 | 10426050
Where can I find these crackheads? That's a deal.
 01-12-2013, 10:47 PMaway - #20
Sub Crazy 12 heat pts12

$11,991 | POWERFUL
I remember buying a big bottle for 5 bucks from a crackhead on the metro.


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