In what some are referring to as a “grime wave,” cases of Tide thefts have skyrocketed in recent months as the detergent has become a valuable bartering tool for drug users, according toTheGrio.com. The popular brand name laundry detergent has become “liquid gold” because of its fairly high cost and desirability, making it attractive for resale on the black market; the laundry soap can retail for as much as $20 a bottle, and a stolen bottle can be resold for $5 to $10. In addition, the detergent is instantly recognizable and doesn’t spoil. Tide is now, as a result, being targeted for organized theft at supermarkets and drug stores across the country.
TheGrio.com reports that stories have been pouring in from across the U.S. of thieves stealing thousands of dollars worth of Tide and engaging in weeks, or even months, of heists before being captured. The criminal act of Tide-swiping is relatively low risk, with few dangers and repercussions. National chains, such as drug store CVS, have attempted to electronically tag the detergent bottles as a theft-deterrent, but ultimately to no avail as robbers (who sometimes work in teams) simply run or drive away with as many bottles as they can take, removing the tags later.
Due to the ailing economy, certain consumers have become more willing to buy stolen goods at cut-rate prices; the National Retail Federation reports that the stealing of basic staples for barter or resale, such as over-the-counter medications or razor blades, has been on the rise and costs stores millions. Losses amounted to more than $3 billion in 2010 alone. Some of the Tide stealers find it profitable to resell the brand name item at steep discounts directly to consumers outside of Laundromats; however, drug dealers are beginning to accept Tide as a form of payment and even smaller retail shops, like corner stores, are also stocking up on the stolen detergent to save big.
Regardless of the item, a theft charge in the state of Maryland is a very serious offense. A person may receive harsh penalties, including incarceration, as a result. To help protect you from excessive penalties, the Waldorf theft defense lawyers of Alpert Schreyer can aid you in building an aggressive defense if you are facing Maryland robbery or theft charges. To discuss your case with a knowledgeable member of our law team, call (866) 444-6363. We offer a free consultation.