A couple of days ago, while lying in bed listening to news radio, I heard a story that made me sit up. Apparently, a theft trend has been sweeping across the nation for an unknown number of months and the media is all abuzz. Even in the Washington Metropolitan area, items are marked with electronic anti-theft tags and locked within glass cabinetry because thieves have been stealing them by the cart-full. The merchandise in question?
|(Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg from Getty Images)|
Yes, the laundry detergent. It seems that, like baby food and over-the-counter medication, it has become a hot commodity on the black market, with police regularly raiding drug dealers' homes and finding bottles of it on their shelves. The trusty clothes cleaner is being swapped for drugs on local street corners for the simple reasons that it's costly, doesn't spoil and, most important, everybody uses it.
According to The Clarion-Ledger, the police department in Prince George's County, MD resorted to uncover cops and other tactics to confirm that such transactions were indeed taking place. One drug dealer was even quoted as saying to a police informant, "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."
In an article published in the StarTribune, a local police chief affirmed that theft of such necessities is not unusual. "They've done the same thing with baby formula for years. It's an essential."
But, c'mon, is it worth going to jail for?!!