Baby Formula Powder "Disappearing" - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/26/05

Baby Formula Powder "Disappearing"

You may have noticed, powdered baby formula is now a bit more difficult to find at many supermarkets around the nation, including ones in East Texas.

Stores like Albertson's and Brookshire's are putting a smaller quantity of them on shelves and keeping more locked up in the back. That's because powdered baby formula is a hot target for shoplifters.

"Cause it's so expensive, I usually just get it by week," Amanda Thying, a Tyler mom, said. "It usually lasts about 7 to 10 days."

Thying pays $23.99 for a can of Isomil Advance baby formula powder at Albertson's. That's the more expensive kind. But even the lower-priced ones cost $12 or $13.

Law enforcement authorities say because infant formula powder is so expensive, costing about $1/oz., some people will steal it to resell it on the black market or use it to hide drugs.

In addition to watching for shoplifters, stores are also watching the sale of baby formula for the same reasons.

The store manager at Albertson's in Tyler declined to speak on camera, but told us they have had a problem with shoplifting over the years.

The same has happened at Brookshire's. Three years ago, police in White Oak said a group of Mexican nationals stuffed the cans into a backpack, stealing hundreds in all, and selling them in the U.S. and overseas. You'll notice Brookshire's limits the amount of formula powder it keeps on store shelves.

Back at Albertson's, shoppers have noticed a difference.

"Because our youngest was lactose intolerant, so we had to have a soy formula," Ray Chambers, a Tyler dad said. "And sometimes they didn't have enough of those."

"It's an inconvenience to the parents," Thying said.

But store managers say it's helping to fight crime and ultimately protect you, the customer.

A Tyler police sergeant tells us the department has not had any reports of formula powder thefts since stores implemented their policies to monitor the product.

Julie Tam, reporting. jtam@kltv.com

 

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