(CBS) DENVER - Supermarkets across Colorado are losing millions of dollars from thieves who shoplift massive amounts of Tide laundry detergent and Oil of Olay face lotion, CBS Denver reports.
According to the station, the thieves are often so brazen they load up a shopping cart with laundry detergent and walk right out the front door of the store.
To combat the problem, supermarkets are installing more surveillance cameras and hiring undercover security to pose as shoppers in hopes that this will help them catch the criminals. Law enforcement says these are not casual shoplifters, instead calling the suspects part of an organized crime ring.
Safeway supermarket spokeswoman Kris Staaf told CBS Denver that one container of Tide pods can earn a thief $60 on the black market. The thieves reportedly sell the stolen goods on eBay and at flea markets.
Police believe surveillance video shows a single suspect getting away with $8,100 of Tide from six different stores, CBS Denver repots.
Tide detergent is not the only hot commodity for shoplifters in Denver. The station reports Oil of Olay products are also popular.
"They'll take this whole shelf [of face cream] and put it right into their purse and walk out the door. These sell for $20 a piece," Staff told the station.
Local stores have started putting only a few of the product out at a time so the thieves will get away with less.