Tide Theft Crime Trend Comes To Tulsa - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Tide Theft Crime Trend Comes To Tulsa

Posted: Updated:
Tulsa Police respond to the theft of Tide Saturday afternoon. Tulsa Police respond to the theft of Tide Saturday afternoon.
Police were called after a woman filled up a cart with Tide from a Target store and pushed the cart right past the checkout stands to her car and loaded it up. Police were called after a woman filled up a cart with Tide from a Target store and pushed the cart right past the checkout stands to her car and loaded it up.
One grocery chain is trying out sticky labels, with "return to owner" printed on them. One grocery chain is trying out sticky labels, with "return to owner" printed on them.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tide's orange and yellow bottles are an iconic American brand, but now they're part of a national crime wave that hit Tulsa over the weekend.

Police around the country say the popular laundry detergent is being sold on the black market to buy drugs. You can put this one in the "What-Will-They-Think-Of-Next" category.

This past Saturday, a suspect walked into the Walgreens on 15th and Yale in broad daylight, took 12 bottles of Tide laundry soap, threw them in a car, and drove off. 

It may sound like someone just had a lot of laundry to do, but police from Ohio to Oregon are seeing this happen. The basic reason for thefts is simple: everyone needs to do laundry.

Here's what will happen: typically, drug users are the ones stealing bottles of Tide from the store.

Because one bottle can retail for up to $20, the user will offer a drug dealer some Tide for about half that price, and get drugs in exchange.

"They'll steal a couple of bottles and buy a $20 rock of crack or whatever specific drug or pills," Tulsa officer Lori Visser said. "Drug dealers keep it or sell it and turn a profit off that as well as the drugs they're selling."

The dealer can then use the Tide or sell it to someone else.

Police were called after a woman filled up a cart with Tide from a Target store and pushed the cart right past the checkout stands to her car and loaded it up.

Police got a warrant and went to her house.

"We've had numerous cases," Visser said. "We did a search warrant just last month where we recovered 46 bottles of Tide and Gain and paper products."

Lori Visser realized retail theft was such a huge problem in Tulsa, the department created an Organized Retail Crime Task Force.

They focus on all kinds of thefts and coordinate with stores and police in other states. Whether it's Tide or electronics, it's costing all of us.

"Tulsa is losing close to $2 million a year in sales tax revenue and that's a very conservative figure," Visser said.

She says boosters often commit other crimes too, burglaries, credit card and check fraud. She says these groups are organized and travel and do this for a living.

"We've identified 65 to 85 groups doing this and once we shut one down, another group comes up we've not heard of before," Visser said.

Tide's parent company, Proctor and Gamble, is trying to take measures to stop the thefts. A spokesman says they're testing out alarm devices, something like you would see on clothes at a department store

One grocery chain is trying out sticky labels, with "return to owner" printed on them.

Authorities say Tide is not the only item being used to trade for drugs: razor blades, teeth-whitening strips, and heartburn medicine have been subject to theft as well.

Special Features

Bridge Tracker

How safe are Oklahoma?s bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

Fallen Heroes

The News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

Links

Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on The News On 6? Find it here!

Murrah Bombing Timeline

Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Featured on NewsOn6.com

  • Cold Cases

    Join Lori and local homicide detectives as they search for Cold Case clues.

  • Crime Survival Guide

    What can you do to survive a crime? Find advice for personal safety here.

  • Links

    Looking for a website you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.