Thieves Target Detergent

Thieves are looking to clean up, dealing in Tide - which has become liquid gold on the streets

By Robert Kovacik and Julie Brayton
|  Tuesday, Mar 13, 2012  |  Updated 8:25 PM PDT
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A large number of thefts targeting Tide detergent has investigators scratching their heads, and hoping a recent arrest may provide clues. Vikki Vargas reports from Anaheim.

Vikki Vargas and Kevin Dahlgren

A large number of thefts targeting Tide detergent has investigators scratching their heads, and hoping a recent arrest may provide clues. Vikki Vargas reports from Anaheim.

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Grime Wave: Thieves Target Laundry Detergent

Forget money, jewels or gold. Now thieves are targeting a hot new item: Tide laundry detergent. Because the retail price is steadily high, Tide has become a form of currency on the streets. Robert Kovacik reports.
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Tide has been on store shelves for 60 years, and it's a laundry detergent with over 2.7 million Facebook likes. But now people are out to steal it.

The reasons are still a little murky. It might just be that it's a valuable item that's fairly easy to transport.

From Minneapolis-St. Paul to Mission Viejo in Orange County, that orange bottle is becoming liquid gold to criminals.

One suspect in a Maryland supermarket loaded his cart with 15 to 20 bottles of Tide and took off out of the store to an awaiting get away car, according to surveillance tape.

Then 40 minutes later, his accomplice is seen on security tape selling the load to a nail salon.

Why Tide? It’s popular and can be pricey. And it's not just soap they're stealing.

In California, grocery chains like Ralphs are aware of organized retail crime.

"These thieves target many different products like Tide, Red Bull, or shampoo," said Kendra M. Doyel with Ralphs Grocery Company. "We continue to take measures to fight these crimes so we have the products our customers need in stock."

With this rising crime wave, even national retailers like CVS are considering special security measures to keep Tide tied down.

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