CRIME WATCH: Steven Bankert Reacts to The Washington Post, Fights Tide Thieves

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The Washington Post reports on an unsuspected crime epidemic that is sweeping the country: the theft of Tide laundry detergent. Steve Bankert, owner of multiple coin-operated laundry facilities, fights back against this theft by protecting his inventory and spreading the word.

The Washington Post recently ran an article depicting an unlikely crime epidemic: the theft of Tide laundry detergent from CVS stores in the D.C. area. Author Petula Dvorak reveals that Tide is a new currency, called “liquid gold,” and has been sold for drugs, to mom-and-pop stores, and even on the street. Steven Bankert, the owner of several laundry facilities, is fighting back by protecting his Tide inventory.

“We sell Tide liquid in my stores,” commented Steven Bankert. “It is kept behind the counter and there is a full-time attendant on duty, so there is little chance of theft. Like the grocery and convenience stores, we have cameras so we can see what is going on at all times.”

Like many other Americans, Steve Bankert wonders why this particular product has been targeted by criminals. Dvorak has the answer: “What do they do with all the detergent? Tide, which is apparently coveted because it’s pretty expensive at about $20 for a 100-ounce jug, gets sold to neighborhood mom-and-pop stores, on street corners and in parking lots. Like the trench-coat guy who once sold stolen watches, this is now happening with household goods. A $20 bottle of Tide can go for $5 […] The benefits to criminals are clear. You can’t trace the detergent, and there’s nothing illegal about being caught with a trunk full of soap.”

This level of desperation is something that has not been seen by the general population since the Great Depression. Unfortunately, the economic climate has created an environment in which most families cannot afford to buy their favorite laundry detergent. While other, cheaper brands are available, the high cost of Tide—and the determination of people to get their hands on it at all costs—is very telling of growing economic troubles. While the economy, as a whole, shows signs of recovery, the general population still faces daily struggles when it comes to finances.

Stephen Bankert is appalled at this kind of behavior. Tide may be one of the more expensive laundry detergents on the market, but it is certainly not worth risking criminal activity. Simply put, the risk associated with Tide theft is not worth the reward—if it can be said that there is one. As such, Steve Bankert is fighting against this new criminal trend by adequately staffing his laundry facilities and installing cameras on the property.


Steven Bankert is the owner of multiple coin-laundry facilities. Additionally, he has a background in the restaurant industry; his family owned an Italian restaurant when he was young. His diverse background has allowed Steve Bankert to develop a variety of skills that have helped him to become a well-rounded entrepreneur. When not clocking hours at his laundry facilities, Stephen Bankert is spending time on the water, cooking, and enjoying time with his family.

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Michael McGarety
PR Authority
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