Police and retailers are pushing back against a report claiming that theft of Tide laundry detergent is on the rise nationwide and that cities are devising special task forces to crack down on the alleged phenomenon, according to a report from Fox News.
A report Monday from the iPad news source The Daily went viral after claiming that authorities from New York to Oregon are struggling to stop the theft of Tide detergent from popular retail stores, such as CVS and Walmart, Fox News said.
According to the Fox News article, "Lt. Matt Swenke of the West St. Paul Police Department in Minnesota described laundry detergent as a 'needed commodity' – much like baby formula and toilet paper – that he said is often a target for shoplifters looking to profit by reselling the items to privately-owned retail stores.
"He referenced one case of a man suspected of stealing $25,000 worth of Tide detergent from a Walmart in West St. Paul over a 15-month period. He said the man, identified as 53-year-old Patrick Costanzo, was seen on surveillance video stocking up his shopping cart with various items, including Tide, and walking out of the store without paying," the article says. However, Swenke did not identify the specific theft of Tide as a growing issue.
Retailers are also denying any new spike in stolen Tide products, which typically fetch a higher price than generic detergents at black markets, although the cost is always lower than the shoplifted item's original sticker price, according to the article.