When I was a kid. my mom washed all of our clothing in Tide detergent. I can still conjure up the fresh smell of sheets and tee-shirts, straight from the dryer or clothesline. A few years ago, in my suburban area, I noticed the trend of locking up Tide Detergent bottles in secure cases that require finding a store manager with a key to release them. I thought that was odd until my best friend, a social worker by profession, told me that Tide’s code name on the streets is “Liquid Gold” and that people steal and resell it, or trade it for drugs.
Yesterday, while grocery shopping, I noticed another product encased in little plastic locked boxes; Dove Body Wash. I normally purchase the Target version of this soap, but, I had a really good coupon that made the real stuff a few pennies cheaper than its generic counterpart. Unfortunately, I was in a hurry, and didn’t feel like seeking out a manager to unlock a box, so I once again settled for the off-brand version.
Though it was my choice to settle for “less,” mostly because of my personal impatience, I fumed for a few seconds over the injustice of being inconvenienced due to the crappy actions of a few dishonest people. I silently cursed soap stealers, and their low-life customers, who are most likely running around with softer skin and better smelling clothing than I am.
After my inward hissy-fit, I began noticing the other store items on lockdown from thieves:
- Axe Body Spray: I personally think this one’s a good call. This product is an assault to the senses–ask any middle school teacher who’s had to sit in a room of pubescent boys drenched in this stench.
- Replacement blades for electric razors: Generic manual razors are cheap. Use them, or grow a damn beard. I’m tired of wasting my time waiting for a manager with a key just so my non-thief husband can shave.
- Name brand contact lens solution: Too expensive for me, I use generic. If you simply must have the name brand stuff and have to steal it, or purchase it on the black market, I suggest you stick with glasses.
- Some cold medications: Last winter, I actually had to sign a release and show my driver’s license just to buy some Sudafed D. Little did I know that crystal meth makers either steal, or purchase, tons of this stuff for making their “product.” I rarely get a cold, so I hadn’t experienced the joy of digging my ID out of my used-tissue-filled purse until then. I wasn’t in the market to create a sequel to Breaking Bad. I just had a stuffy nose.
- Drain cleaner: Also for the aspiring methamphetamine engineers. Who knew meth was full of such good, wholesome ingredients?
- Condoms: I know store owners and condom companies have to make money, but couldn’t we just do society a favor and let this one slide? Unless these stolen condoms are being used as party balloons, they might actually prevent the birth of future Tide thieves, and I’m alright with that.
- Baby formula: Apparently, baby formula is another hot ticket item for resale and drug trade on the streets. Stealing formula is just sad, especially with programs, like WIC, here in the US that provide formula to a rather wide income range of needy moms. Just my humble opinion, but if you have to steal, or are buying or trading stolen formula, you probably should have stolen some condoms about nine months back. Oh, wait! Silly me! I nearly forgot that they keep those locked up now, too.
I have very little experience with thievery. Other than maybe accidentally walking off with someone’s pen, the only thing I ever purposely snatched was a Tootsie Roll. This happened when I was five, and I had no intention of selling it on the streets. I wasn’t even good at concealing my contraband and tried to eat right it in front of my mother, who promptly marched me back into the store to confess my crime to the owner. My lack of robbery intuitiveness causes me to ponder how the street selling transactions of these goods occur. Does some guy, or girl, walk around in a trench coat with formula, electric razor blades, or Tide strapped to the coat’s inner flaps? Do they flash their goods when a potential buyer passes and say things like, “Is that baby you’re with hungry?” or “That goatee’s really not working for you, dude. Check these out,” or “Want your clothes to smell like rich people?”
I know that locking up items targeted by thieves, saves consumers money and prevents the exchange of stolen goods on the street. It also encourages people to purchase the store’s brand of the product, making more money for the corporation. Even still, when I have to spend time searching for a manager to unlock the soap, I feel like a well-behaved school girl forced to miss recess because the rest of the class was talking. Thankfully, most generics are just as good! (End of rant 🙂 )
What’s the weirdest store item that you’ve ever seen under lock and key? Am I the only one annoyed by this?