The Daily's M.L. Nestel cites law enforcement reports from across America describing a crime-wave of Tide detergent thefts, including claims that bottles of easily resellable, name-brand washing soap can be bartered for meth and heroin in Gresham, OR.
Tide has become a form of currency on the streets. The retail price is steadily high — roughly $10 to $20 a bottle — and it's a staple in households across socioeconomic classes.
Tide can go for $5 to $10 a bottle on the black market, authorities say. Enterprising laundry soap peddlers even resell bottles to stores.
"There's no serial numbers and it's impossible to track," said Detective Larry Patterson of the Somerset, Ky., Police Department, where authorities have seen a huge spike in Tide theft. "It's the item to steal."
Why Tide and not, say, Wisk or All? Police say it's simply because the Procter & Gamble detergent is the most popular and, with its Day-Glo orange logo, most recognizable of brands.