Friday, January 19, 2018

Some drug dealers prefer to be paid in Tide, not cash

WASHINGTON — When police in suburban Washington raided the home of a suspected drug dealer last fall, they found the cocaine all right, but they also found something unusual on the man's shelves: nearly 20 large bottles of liquid Tide laundry detergent.

It turns out his customers were paying for drugs not with cash but with stolen Tide, police said.

Tide has become a hot commodity among thieves at supermarkets and drugstores in at least some parts of the country.

For a variety of reasons, the detergent in the familiar orange bottle is well-suited for resale on the black market: Everybody needs laundry detergent, and Tide is the nation's most popular brand. It's expensive, selling for up to $20 for a large bottle at stores. And it doesn't spoil.

One Safeway supermarket in Prince George's County, Md., was losing thousands of dollars' worth of Tide a week before police made more than 24 arrests.

In West St. Paul, Minn., a man pleaded guilty to stealing more than $6,000 worth of the stuff from a Walmart.

In the Washington area, some CVS pharmacies have been attaching electronic antitheft tags to bottles.

It's not clear how new the Tide theft phenomenon is, but organized theft has been a growing problem for U.S. retailers, costing them $3.53 billion in 2010, according to the National Retail Federation. Other popular items for thieves include baby formula, razor blades and over-the-counter medication.

Unlike nasal decongestants, which can be used to make methamphetamine, Tide is generally used for its intended purpose after it is stolen, authorities and industry officials say. Many thieves sell it on the street themselves at cut-rate prices, sometimes outside coin-operated laundries.

In Prince George's County, police said they learned from informants, undercover officers and others that drug dealers urge their customers to pay with shoplifted Tide instead of cash.

"I'm out of marijuana right now, but when I get re-upped I'll hook you up if you can get me 15 bottles of Tide," one dealer was quoted as telling an informant, according to police.

Comments
N.Korea cancels S.Korea visit by advance team for art troupe

N.Korea cancels S.Korea visit by advance team for art troupe

North Korea has canceled plans to send a delegation led by the head of a hugely popular girl band to South Korea over the weekend to check preparations for a trip by an art troupe she also leads during next month's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Hillsborough, Pasco schools warn parents about flu activity, dangers

Hillsborough, Pasco schools warn parents about flu activity, dangers

The Florida Department of Health is reporting a sharp increase in flu activity in the last several weeks, prompting area schools to send out letter warning parents about the virus. At least two districts, however, say that flu activity in their schoo...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Amazon boosts monthly Prime membership fees by 20 percent

Amazon boosts monthly Prime membership fees by 20 percent

Amazon raises price of monthly Prime membership plan by nearly 20 percent, annual membership fee isn't changing
Updated: 10 minutes ago

IOC: More initiatives coming to promote Korean unity

Olympics organizers have promised that "much more exciting initiatives" promoting Korean unity will emerge this weekend.
Updated: 10 minutes ago

IOC: More initiatives coming to promote Korean unity

Olympics organizers have promised that "much more exciting initiatives" promoting Korean unity will emerge this weekend.
Updated: 10 minutes ago
The Latest: Michigan State asks AG to review Nassar events

The Latest: Michigan State asks AG to review Nassar events

Michigan State University is asking Michigan's attorney general to investigate the school's handling of complaints against a sports doctor who sexually assaulted gymnasts and other athletes
Updated: 11 minutes ago
The Latest: Michigan State asks AG to review Nassar events

The Latest: Michigan State asks AG to review Nassar events

Michigan State University is asking Michigan's attorney general to investigate the school's handling of complaints against a sports doctor who sexually assaulted gymnasts and other athletes
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Prep school says lawsuit settled in sex assault case

Prep school says lawsuit settled in sex assault case

A New Hampshire prep school says it has settled a lawsuit filed by the parents of a student who was sexually assaulted in 2014 during a game of sexual conquest
Updated: 12 minutes ago
‘Please remove my name’: ESOL email blitz roars back to life in Pasco County schools

‘Please remove my name’: ESOL email blitz roars back to life in Pasco County schools

If ever you needed proof positive that nothing dies on the Internet, the Pasco County school district has it.An ESOL training email thought dead and buried last fall after responses filled annoyed recipients' inboxes resurfaced with a vengeance Thurs...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
A year after Jammeh's exit, Gambia emerges from the shadows

A year after Jammeh's exit, Gambia emerges from the shadows

A year after Jammeh's exit, Gambia emerges from the shadows; 'Time to rebuild a country'
Updated: 17 minutes ago