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Tide Laundry Detergent Theft Ring Alleged After Bust At Maryland Barber Shop

Posted: 03/23/2012 3:01 pm Updated: 03/23/2012 4:33 pm

Tide Theft Ring Bust
Tide has become a hot commodity for thieves in certain parts of the country. Officials say the item is traded among the black market but is still used for its intended purpose.

Police recovered about $125,000 worth of black market goods in the back of a Maryland barbershop, where containers of Tide laundry detergent sat among knock-off shoes and counterfeit jeans, FOX 5 reports.

A lawyer for the store told FOX 5 all the goods belonged to the owner and the incident was all a big misunderstanding.

However, police have said the evidence in the case suggests otherwise, and the incident remains under investigation.

In recent months, Tide detergent has been eyed by thieves, who snag the product due to an apparent high demand for the laundry soap on the black market.

Interestingly, officials have said the soap isn't being used for any reason other than its intended purpose: cleaning clothes, the Associated Press reports.

The containers, which retail for about $10 to $20, have been dubbed "liquid gold" by some. But for many business owners, stocking the product isn't worth the potential monetary loss.

"There are some stores that will no longer sell the product because it gets stolen just that often,” Julie Parker, a spokesperson for Maryland's Prince George's County Police Department, told CBS Baltimore.

For others, adding electronic security devices to the containers seems to be the answer.

Shoppers at some local markets say the trend could be a result of the tough economy.

"I think it's a very desperate situation when people have to steal a very basic need that should be common to us all," Traci Singer told Oklahoma's KFOR.

Tide representatives have called the targeting of their products by thieves "unfortunate," but have not offered an official explanation regarding the cause of the thefts, according to the Associated Press.

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Filed by Ileana Llorens  |