There's a new thief in town, and he's headed for your utility room.
The newest fad in burglary has bandits heading straight for the laundry detergent aisle of grocery and convenience stores and loading carts of Tide detergent.
The thieves make out with gallons of the blue liquid at a time, and then turn it around and sell it by the capful at laundromats.
A "Good Morning America" video Friday morning showed a man on a security camera making out with thousands of dollars worth of Tide in his cart.
Thieves in Prince George's County, Md., have started calling it "liquid gold" because of its lucrative rank.
An article from "In the Capital" suggested that, in the D.C. area, thieves were bypassing the middle-man altogether, exchanging the detergent directly for crack or weed. The dealers then become the ones to turn it around and sell it back to a grocery store, no doubt a little shady, in an under-the-table deal.
I'm not making any of this up.
Tide is widely judged as a leading detergent on the market, which helps its resale value. Since it's not (yet) a controlled substance, it's easy to get a hold of, and reselling it in demand-heavy arenas, such as a laundromat, gives the seller immediate cash for whatever their heart desires.
In larger cities, some grocery stores have started installing padlocks. lock-boxes and security cameras around the red containers, hoping to deter thieves from their establishment. Others have hired cops, both undercover and uniformed, to patrol the aisle.
Crazier things have happened, though I can't think of any off the top of my head. Whoever began this craze deserves both a slap across the head and a medal. Their "technique" is sweeping the nation, and it doesn't show any sign of slowing down.