Tide Bandits Cleaning Up in Prince George’s

By Pat Collins and Matthew Stabley
|  Tuesday, Sep 13, 2011  |  Updated 7:02 PM EDT
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Thieves are stealing detergent and re-selling it to make huge profits.

Thieves are stealing detergent and re-selling it to make huge profits.

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Laundry detergent is a hot item in Prince George’s County, Md., lately.

Prince George’s County police’s organized retail crime squad is investigating theft after theft of Tide.

It can be a more lucrative crime than you might imagine. Last month, a man was arrested at a Bowie Safeway with a car full of Tide and $96,000 in the bank.

“It’s big money and it’s tax-free money,” Sgt. Aubrey Thompson said.

From one Safeway alone, thousands of bottles of Tide have been taken, Thompson said.

Thieves load up shopping carts with the detergent, maybe as many as 20 bottles, and then roll Tide right out of the store without paying, police said.

The hot Tide is then resold at flea markets, convenience stores, nail salons and bus stops.

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