UPI en Espanol

$25K in Tide thefts part of a trend

March 13, 2012 at 2:19 PM

WEST ST. PAUL, Minn., March 13 (UPI) -- Retailers across the United States said a Minnesota man's Tide laundry detergent theft spree is part of a larger nationwide trend.

Police in Minnesota said Paul Costanzo, 52, pilfered $25,000 worth of Tide from a Walmart store in West St. Paul during a 15-month period and Massachusetts-based pharmacy chain CVS said extra security devices are being placed on bottles of the detergent in some markets due to a recent rise in thefts, WABC-TV, New York, reported Tuesday.

"In a few markets we've placed security devices on Tide bottles that will trigger an alarm if a shoplifter tries to remove it from the store without paying," a CVS spokesman said.

Investigators in Maryland said they believe Tide thefts have risen in the area because the detergent is being traded for drugs on the street.