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Monday, January 28, 2013

Tide Detergent Is Hot Commodity For Thieves

Procter & Gamble's Tide detergent is displayed at a Target store in Richmond, Va. (Steve Helber/AP)

Procter & Gamble’s Tide detergent is displayed at a Target store in Richmond, Va. (Steve Helber/AP)

Have you heard about the Tide detergent thefts?

At first it was thought to be urban myth, but last year for the first time, Tide made the National Retail Federation’s list of most targeted items for theft.

On the street it’s called “liquid gold.” Among the most expensive detergents, a 150-ounce bottle of Tide sells for around $20.

Sgt. Aubrey Thompson is head of the special unit in Maryland’s Prince George’s County dealing with organized retail theft.

He told Here & Now that thieves have been stealing the detergent from large chain stores and selling it at a bargain price to smaller corner stores.

There have also been reports of Tide being used as currency to buy drugs.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003000884786 Navin R Johnson

    Hurry, better ban Tide!

  • Katewa44

    Oh, my, I have about eight large bottles of tide in my pantry – maybe I better lock it up in a safe……

  • Kathy

    This is apparently already being debunked.

    • Robin Y

      Not in this county! Click on the New York Mag. article.

      All best

      • Former PG County resident

        But if you bothered to check out the comments to the NY Mag article or Googled the subject, you’d find that this story has a checkered history going back for almost a year.  Your covereage would have been more informative if it investigated to what degree this really goes beyond a single Safeway store in Bowie, MD that seems to have a shoplifting problem.  Interviewing a single law enforcement source and then running with the lead of “Around the country, police departments are dealing with a wave of thefts of Tide” is not an example of the quality of journalism that I have come to expect and enjoy from your otherwise excellent program. 

        • Robin Y

          Oops your’e right that’s an old lede. Our on air lede actually talked about
          how it was considered urban myth, but last year was added to a national retail list as targeted item, and is a particular problem in this one county.

          We will change! 


  • Heather A.

    As an ex-cashier at Target, I was annoyed by Ms. Young’s comment about the cashiers that make “next to nothing” being “disinclined” to prevent theft. The inclination to prevent theft is based on not only general morality but the fact that you can lose your job if you just “let” people steal. I am glad that the guest cleared up Ms. Young’s error but it was a careless and crass thing to say and I hope that she will consider her words more carefully in the future. 

    Being a cashier doesn’t pay all that well, no, but low pay doesn’t mean that you automatically stop caring about the company you work for or about your own integrity. 

    • Robin Y

      Oh I’m so sorry. The words were from reporting and I repeated them out of compassion, but you have eloquently set me straight!! (and that’s something that  would never be deleted! )


  • Heather A.

    I hope that although my comment was deleted (wow, really?) that someone passed it along to Ms. Young. 

    • Rachel Rohr/H&N

      Hi Heather, 
      No comments have been deleted from this page. 
      Rachel Rohr/Here & Now web producer

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DPKS3HUGQBPILPIU7IVZSHGXLI Robert_N

    Maybe part of the reason we have a sub-par savings rate (and rising costs for safety nets) in this country is that people do silly things, over multiple iterations, like pay $20 for a bottle of detergent. I bought some on sale awhile back, and that extra-fresh scent was nice, but my long-term financial health is more important. ;-)

  • Rmorris

    My alligator brain senses bogons.  Snopes says ‘indeterminate,’ but I sense a Faux.  http://www.snopes.com/media/notnews/tide.asp

  • Sharon

    Robin, Did I really hear you say something to the effect of “this Tide is being used by poor people so why doesn’t the store just stock a little extra and ignore the theft”?  I was glad the police officer set you straight about criminal intent! Very odd comment for you to have made!

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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