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Tide thefts puzzle, but skip Auburn

String of Tide thefts prompts security measures on East Coast
By: Sara Seyydin and the Associated Press Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn stores can breathe a sigh of relief as local law enforcement says their Tide laundry detergent is not currently being targeted by thieves — unlike in some other parts of the country. The Associated Press reported earlier this week that several stores on the East Coast were the target of Tide thefts. One Washington D.C. CVS Pharmacy even put alarms on its supply of Tide to deter thieves, while another keeps Tide locked behind glass, the report said. Dena Erwin, spokesperson for the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, said she isn’t aware of any Tide thefts in the county, but other organized retail thefts do occur. In those situations thieves fill up cars outside of stores and flee the scene, she said. “A year or so ago they were stealing expensive toothbrushes and selling those, we assume for drugs. High-end toothbrushes were the rage for awhile,” Erwin said. Sergeant Scott Alford with the Auburn Police Department agrees there are reported cases of Tide theft locally that he knows of; however other high-value retail items are not known to be used as payment for drugs. “Obviously there are valuables that are traded. One of things that we look for sometimes, there are popular items like Infamil or baby formula, but nothing that I have seen in Auburn,” Alford said. “The Tide thing is a new thing for me I have not heard about before.” Sukhvir Kandola said nobody has been caught stealing laundry detergent at his family’s store Foothills Market. “We sell it, but I haven’t caught anybody stealing it. Honestly we have been here for so long and we depend on locals. Sometimes we have high school kids that try to take candy or try to buy alcohol or cigarettes with fake IDs,” Kandola said. “I guess bad economy.” Tony White, of Auburn, is in construction. He said he isn’t sure why thieves are stealing Tide. “The only thing Tide would be used for other than laundry is to put it on dirt to keep it moist,” White said. “But in this weather you don’t really need that.” When Tide is stolen it is often used for its intended purpose, unlike drugs that are stolen to make methamphetamine, the Associated Press reported. The detergent is more likely to be sold on the street by drug dealers who accept it as payment and sell it considerably marked down. "We don't have any insight as to why this has apparently happened," P&G spokeswoman Sarah Pasquinucci said in an email to the Associated Press, "but if so it is unfortunate." Wanda Cook, of Auburn, was shopping at Savemart Friday afternoon and was also dismayed to learn of the thefts. “I think it’s terrible because I use Tide. I know I use Tide all the time,” Cook said. “It’s just terrible.” Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com, or follow her on Twitter @AJ_News.