Criminals steal the strangest things. For instance? There is apparently a national black market for Tide, of all things, to the point that one man was busted for stealing over $25,000 of the detergent over 15 months last year. And the criminals aren't stealing the soap to use as an ingredient to make meth—which was our first thought when we heard about this—though they are using it to buy meth and other drugs.

Reports The Daily:

"We sent in an informant to buy drugs. The dealer said, 'I don’t have drugs, but I could sell you 15 bottles of Tide,'" Sprague told The Daily. "Upstairs in the drug dealer’s bedroom was about 14 bottles of Tide laundry soap. We think [users] are trading it for drugs."

Police in Gresham, Ore., said most Tide theft is perpetrated by "users feeding their habit."

"They’ll do it right in front of a cop car — buying heroin or methamphetamine with Tide," said Detective Rick Blake of the Gresham Police Department. "We would see people walking down the road with six, seven bottles of Tide. They were so blatant about it."

Apparently thieves aren't nearly as interested in non-Tide brands either. They just want Tide, the dependably priced nationwide market leader which comes in a distinctive orange bottle. The thefts have become such an issue that CVS has begun locking down Tide and other detergents in some parts of the country! We haven't noticed them doing it here though...yet.

So far Procter & Gamble, which makes the detergent, doesn't know what to make of the issue. Says a spokeswoman, "We don’t have any insight as to why the phenomenon is happening, but it is certainly unfortunate." We, however, know exactly what to do. And that is to start saving our empty Tide bottles in case we ever get desperate for some quick and easy black market cash. Nobody will ever notice we just refilled 'em with water, right?