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Gresham cops arrest serial detergent thief

Man allegedly sold Tide on the streets


by: CONTRIBUTED: MULTNOMAH COUNTY - Paul DayAccording to KOIN News, Detectives with the Gresham Police Department have arrested a 56-year-old man accused of being a “prolific” thief who mostly stole Tide laundry detergent.

Paul Day, 56, was arrested by Detective Brandon Crate the evening of Thursday, April 24, after Safeway's organized retail theft investigators identified Day as the person who had been stealing the laundry detergent.

Safeway investigators had been tracking Day’s movements in their store, officials said. On Thursday, when Day returned to one of the Gresham Safeway locations, employees called police after Day stole 14 bottles of Tide valued at $279, court documents state.

Crate was given images of surveillance video taken from inside the store that showed other thefts conducted by Day, court documents state.

“Day identified himself in all the pictures and said he steals because he gets an indescribable rush from doing so,” prosecutor Dennis Shen wrote in a court affidavit.

During the past two years, according to Safeway investigators, Day has stolen bottles of Tide valued at close to $4,800.

Day admitted that he sells the detergent he stole for money, court documents state. Police have previously told KOIN 6 News that brand-name laundry detergent is often times sold on black markets or traded for drugs because it is such an essential item for everyday living.

Day has been charged with three counts of first-degree theft.