MISSION VIEJO (CBS) – A dirty trend has hit Orange County – inexplicably large thefts of Tide.

Orange County Sheriff’s officials say 54-year-old Ronald Ledesma was under the influence of methamphetamine when he stole nine large bottles of the laundry detergent at a Vons in Mission Viejo on Feb. 7, the latest in a wave of similar thefts across the country.

The most notable Tide theft happened in West St. Paul, Minn., where police say the thief stole $25,000 worth of the product over 15 months before he was arrested last year.

“Law enforcement is somewhat baffled by these thefts,” Orange County Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino said. “There’s a couple different theories. Tide detergent is, goes for about $20 a bottle. So one theory is these drug users sell it on the street, swap meet, we’re not sure exactly where they’re selling them, but perhaps for $5 or $10.”

The ubiquitous household staple has apparently become a form of currency on the streets. Bottles of Tide go for $5 to $10 each on the black market and some thieves are even reselling it to stores.

The detergent has apparently become a target partly thanks to its Day-Glo orange logo.

Comments (22)
  1. Christina39 says:

    Tide at $5 a bottle in my dreams.

  2. Somers says:

    Could they be using it for something other than launcry?????

  3. Somers says:

    Typo alert! I meant laundry!

  4. Ness says:

    How did they manage to steal the bottles in the first place?? I don’t get it…

    1. rich says:

      what is so hard to understand? they walk in take the soap and walk out. it seems to me it would be more easy then walking in and rippin off a case or two of beer but we all have seen that one pulled off

      1. Christina39 says:

        Actually I work in the security department of a major retailer and that is a more popular shop lifted item than alcohol. They love the big bottles. One in each hand.

      2. 1stman says:

        the only thing you work at is swallowing balls.

  5. KenV says:

    I bet they are not even selling the real Tide that they stole. I bet they are cutting it with ,GAIN, CHEER or PUREX , hahahaha

    1. Christina39 says:

      They will be sorry if they get the “pure” stuff.

  6. Christina39 says:

    What does it say about Americans when they buy detergent “on the street” We may have the most drug addicts, but we have the cleanest drug addicts.

  7. Ray Ray says:

    I’m Wondering if this is some new Era of Tide is being used to make Meth ??

  8. railbird says:

    Maybe they were just hoping to make a clean getaway.

    1. Christina39 says:

      Maybe but in the end everything comes out in the wash.

  9. Jack Durban says:

    I invented a product that would have prevented this. It’s called “Purchek”. It prevents a cart from exiting the store without first making a transaction.

    1. Christina39 says:

      I have personally seen people carry out Tide they didn’t pay off and when you see a cart with Tide on the bottom of the cart, you always check the receipt because if it’s another brand, it’s not likely they didn’t pay for it When they steal a detergent, most often it’s Tide.

  10. Guest says:

    Thats why if you dont want to get caught you steal the cheap stuff
    But who would bother with that?

  11. Christina39 says:

    Does anyone know where i can get a good deal on Tide Free and Gentle? JUST JOKING!

  12. mike says:

    I can’t even get a job.That’s because that aS$hole lawyer Robert Hale from Hale and Nguyen in Brea couldn’t help me with my case. Now I’m a chickensh!t aS$puck that has a beef with law enforcement and everybody on the internet. I used multiple screen names like [GROW..APAIR], [wg//af], [up//yours], [Mike in San Diego], [Mike in Upland], [1stman] and [kma] so no one can track me down. I challenge people to meet me in front of the Fullerton P.D. station for my protection. I’m such a puS$y dumbf**k with nothing to say I post to myself copying sentences from everyone, especially GROWAPAIR, who knows I’m a ball sniffing loser.

    I’ll use your screen name next, puS$y d!cklips..

    Pay attention to me when I hijack screen names to show I’m a whiny puS$y dumbf**k loser. It makes my ass pucker with joy when people think I’m GROWAPAIR and my daddy’s balls like it when my ass puckers. Tell me how I can sound any more f**king stupid,

    1. KenV says:

      Mike: You seem to have some anger issues, and hate everybody, I happen to be your solution as a former United States Marine I would be willing to make time and meet you of your choice and provide you with a one way ticket to meet your maker free of charge. just trying to help….

      1. Christina39 says:

        I don’t think he is a real person. I think he is a troll.

      2. KenV says:

        Christina39 : your right i guess, but if he is real and not a computer tough guy and really has a problem I would be proud to put him in check. free of charge

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