When people think of black market goods, jewelry, electronics and drugs probably come first to mind.
But in police nationwide say that the recent currency among thieves is something for more prosaic: laundry detergent. Stolen detergent like Procter & Gamble‘s (PG) Tide can be sold at swap meets or traded for other illicit commodities like drugs. Law enforcement authorities say that thieves consider detergent “liquid gold” because it can be so easily moved and is in universal demand, the Press-Enterprise notes.
In fact, laundry detergent is the second most stolen item from retail stores. The most stolen item is baby formula.
Retail groups say that thefts of commonly-used household and personal care products are rising. Organized rings of thieves load carts full of merchandise at supermarkets and big box retailers and then simply push them out of the store. The items are then sold for a quick profit, at substantial discounts compared to retailers’ prices.
An added benefit is that detergent containers don’t come with serial numbers, meaning that stolen detergent cannot be tracked.