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Only in Hawaii: Stores Increase Spam Security

Monday, October 30, 2017

spam theft

A customer in a Safeway grocery store in Hawaii watched in disbelief as a man grabbed eight cases of Spam and headed for the door. Arlene Sua thought, “Okay, this isn’t real. No, he’s not going to take it, no no.” But it was indeed real.

The man took off with the Spam and didn’t look back. On top of that, three women were loading up shopping carts across the island with 18 cases of, you guessed it, Spam!

They tried to break free from the store, but a customer stationed himself and stopped the thieves in their tracks. They didn’t wait around to see what would happen; they shoved the carts towards him and took off.

Another shop at a downtown mall in Honolulu wasn’t as lucky. The cops are now offering a $1,000 reward for a man who entered a store, grabbed a case of Spam and punched a security guard as he ran out the door.

What in the world is going on? It’s SPAM!

Turns out, these people don’t just have a sudden craving for the “meat.” They appear to be a part of a Spam black market that’s taking off in Hawaii, where the demand for Spam is incredibly high. Apparently, it’s considered a staple!

Many business are now putting Spam in plastic cases under lock in key. To buy a can of Spam, you need to ask a salesperson to retrieve it! Spam seems to have become a form of currency, particularly for drug addicts in need of quick cash. Spam regularly sells for about $2.50 for a 12-ounce can, but a thief who pays nothing for a stolen case can turn around and make a decent profit by underselling the retailers that they stole from!

“It’s organized retail crime,” the police said. Many of us on the mainland may think this is a little bit comical as we tend to think of Spam as the lowest of the low, aka a cheap meat that comes in a can and doesn’t have any taste. However, in Hawaii, nobody eats Spam out of a can plain. They make “Spam fried rice” or “Spam and eggs.” We still are not sold…

They tend to eat it in vast quantities, which has become popular since World War II, when conventional meat was scarce. Hawaii residents consume more Spam than any other state, about 5 million pounds a year! That is roughly six cans for every man, woman and child! But, don’t make fun of Spam in Hawaii. They even celebrate their beloved meat with an annual “Spam Jam” festival in Waikiki!

Stealing Spam in bulk seems to be a recent phenomenon. The police attribute the thefts to a state law enacted last year that changed the definition of a felony. It used to be a theft of $350 was a felony, but they have increased it to $750. This means someone could make off with about 300 cans before they would risk a felony charge!

Read another bail bond blog:  Man Googles How to Rob a Bank; Arrested for Robbing Bank

Original article: Spam Heists in Hawaii Prompt Retailers to Put the Wildly Popular ‘Mystery Meat’ in Locked Cases

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