Are stores locking up and putting anti-theft devices on laundry detergent pods after a host of memes and videos spread on social media of teenagers performing the 'Tide Pod Challenge?'
No, the devices and lock boxes are meant to deter shoplifters, not in response to the dangerous new teenage fad.
Walmart Corporate Spokesperson
Walmart stores across D.C., Maryland and Virginia
Walgreens Corporate Spokesperson
Walgreens store manager- Houston, Texas
In case you haven't heard of the 'Tide Pod Challenge,' kids these days are taking videos of themselves popping detergent pods in their mouths and spitting out the toxic gel. Encouraging their friends to accept this challenge, is what's making this dangerous dare socially contagious.
RELATED: What is the Tide Pod Challenge?
Shoppers all over are posting photos on Twitter and Facebook complaining that this juvenile lunacy has caused stores to lock up their detergent pods.
On Twitter, Navid Hasen posted a picture from a Walgreens in Houston. Our team spoke to the Bridget, the manager, who says the plastic cases have nothing to do with teenage memes.
"It has nothing to do with that, definitely before all that started," the manager said. "It's because people steal them a lot--yes, a lot."
Walgreens corporate agreed.
"We are not locking pods, specifically, but some stores do have security locks for detergent products in general (including liquid, powder and pods)," Jim Graham, a Walgreens spokesperson said. "If pods are included, it is unrelated to the social media meme."
Another photo circulated from a Walmart. We checked stores in the DMV and the ones we called don't lock up their pods.
"No retailer is immune to the challenge of crime and Walmart is not exempt," Charles Crowson, Senior Manager Corporate Communications for Walmart said. "The decision about which items are subject to additional in-store security is made on a store-by-store basis at the discretion of the store manager."
We can Verify stores have been locking pods for years--it's not because of teenage YouTubers, just shoplifters.