History shows that as unemployment rises, so does property theft and other crime.  The current economic recession boasts a hefty 8% unemployment rate, but this time, criminals seem to be pilfering some head-scratching items.

Nothing is out of bounds anymore. The odd lawnmower, bicycle, or car are too mundane for crooks; today's "hot" items are household cleaning products and dead grass.

Here are five items that today's sticky-fingered entrepreneurs are targeting.

  • 1

    Tide Detergent

    Tide detergent has become a target of choice; so much so that it is now referred to on the street as “liquid gold.” Due to high black market prices, criminals have loaded up carts full of the stuff and made a run for the doors.

    Why Tide? It’s a popular brand with high resale value, and it’s used by homes across the economic spectrum, The Daily reports. “It’s the item to steal,” one Kentucky policeman told The Daily.

  • 2

    Human Hair

    Human hair extensions are all the rage among the ladies and, now, among thieves as well. (Note: This photo is unrelated, but came up in a image search and was beyond resisting.)

    Recently, thieves broke into a Chicago supply store and stole six duffel bags full of hair valued at over $230,000, according to the Chicago Tribune. The owner of the shop thinks the suspects will try to resell the extensions on the street or directly to other salons.

    Human hair is used to make weave extensions for people who want longer hair.

  • 3


    Recent dry weather conditions across the nation caused droughts and brush fires that have caused hay values to skyrocket to as much as $200 per bale. Thieves have noticed.

    To protect their cow chow, farmers have been forced to reinforce gates, paint the bales with their brands, and even put GPS devices inside of the bales.

  • 4

    Concrete Pavers

    The concrete paving stones that have become so popular among homeowners have recently led thieves to add driveways to their list of hit spots.

    Late last year a farmer in Reddick, Florida, drove home and felt a bump when she rolled into the driveway. She got out and saw that many of her pavers were missing.

    Two days after reporting the incident to police, a neighbor witnessed two suspects loading pavers from the same driveway into their truck. Another call to the police led to the arrest of the brick thieves.

  • 5

    Pickup Truck Tailgates

    Auto parts have always been big targets for thieves, but usually the entire car is stolen and sent to a chop shop. Not anymore; these days brazen thieves steal individual items from parked vehicles. (Note: This guy is installing a lock, and not stealing someone's tailgate.)

    Police across the country are receiving reports of missing truck tailgates. In Texas, one woman found her stolen tailgate for sale on Craigslist. She jumped into action and repurchase the tailgate for $350 and then called police.

    Authorities later found dozens of missing truck tailgates at the seller's home.


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