Thieves Targeting Tide Detergent in New Bedford

An unusual crime wave is hitting Southern New England, thieves are actually stealing Tide laundry detergent.

Police find it hard to believe that thieves are targeting Tide, but they say if there's money to be made, any kind of household product, could be a target.

In the past, thieves have focused on baby formula, now it's laundry detergent.

“It's a matter of convenience, it's easily accessible, and you can turn it over quickly, on the street.” said New Bedford Major Crimes Unit commander, Captain Steven Vicente.

At more than 20-dollars for large sized bottles of Tide, thieves can turn around and sell it for 10-bucks a bottle.

More than half-a dozen cases of theft have been reported, in New Bedford, in just the last month and a half.

“Right now there's a market for it and eventually something else will come along.” said Capt. Vicente.

This wave of Tide thefts isn't just happening here in New England, it's happening in places like Minnesota and California, where thieves are running out of stores with dozens of containers of Tide.

In New Bedford, this isn't the first common household item to be targeted. Baby formula was targeted first, causing action to be taken by retailers.

“Many of our local establishments here now have them under lock and key.” said Capt. Vicente.

And because Tide is easy to find and almost impossible to trace once it's stolen, it's likely to remain a popular target, for some time.

“As long as there are consumers willing to pay half price for the product and think they're getting away with it, I think that they'll continue to do it.” said Capt. Vicente.

New Bedford police say they've caught 5 of the Tide thieves so far, and they believe that the people who are buying the stolen-Tide, are probably just regular folks, who trying to save a few bucks on detergent.