Authorities have recently taken notice of an unusual “crime spree” taking place in Colorado. Apparently millions of dollars worth of Tide laundry detergent are being stolen from stores and sold on the black market.
One man allegedly took $8,000 worth of the detergent in Colorado and police are still looking for him. Much of the theft revolves around a newer product called Tide Pods, small single-load capsules of detergent that can sell for about half of their retail value on the black market. The convenient product design makes them almost ideal for selling and using at laundromats.
While stealing some laundry detergent may sound like petty shoplifting, it can have serious consequences. Some offenses may be considered organized retail theft, a serious crime. Organized retail crime may come in the form of professional shoplifting, cargo theft or retail crime rings. If a person steals something from a store and then resells it on the black market in an organized manner they may be found guilty of such an offense. Some experts say organized retail theft affects up to 95 percent of retailers.
Over the past couple of years, Colorado law enforcement agencies and retailers have strengthened their efforts to fight organized retail crime. In addition to increased prosecution of these crimes and a statewide crackdown by law enforcement, some retailers have put extra security measures into place. Some are employing undercover security guards in areas of the store where such theft is likely to take place, while others have locked up vulnerable merchandise.
If you are facing criminal accusations or charges it is important to consult someone who has the experience and the knowledge to help. It may be wise to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney who can get to know your unique case, aggressively defend your interests in court and pursue the best possible outcome for you.
Source: The Gant Daily, “Thieves focus on Tide detergent in Colorado crime spree,” Raquel Erhard, Jan. 25, 2013
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