Criminals are thriving while the law abiding now have to get their Spam from a locked case!
The news has been predictably bad of late even for a middle-aged white man. Wars and rumors of war, natural disasters, collusion, poorly executed advertorial, failing infrastructure, the left getting breathless about the right, the right getting indignant about the left, etc. I usually wake up, read, and feel… bored. Everything so… predictable.
This morning, though, I woke up and read a story I never saw coming. Something so wonderful that I’ve read it three times so far and will now share it with you. By way of quick background, anyone who has ever spent time in Hawaii knows the island’s love affair with the canned ham product known as Spam. It is used in many dishes. My personal favorite is Spam musubi from Foodland. Well, now it is being restricted like a class 1 drug. Let’s read again together in the famed Washington Post!
Last month in the Pearl City community on Oahu, Safeway customer Arlene Sua watched as a man suddenly grabbed eight cases of Spam and headed for the door. She thought “‘Okay, this isn’t real. No, he’s not going to take it, no, no,” she told KHON TV.
But it was real. The man took off with the Spam and disappeared.
Elsewhere on the island at about the same time, three women loaded up shopping carts at a Long’s drugstore with 18 cases of — you guessed it — Spam. They made a rush for the exit. Fortunately, an alert customer, Kurt Fevella, saw the attempted heist in progress, stationed himself at the door on Spam patrol and stopped them in their tracks. They shoved the carts toward at him and took off, Fevella told KITV4.
A shop at a downtown mall wasn’t so lucky. The Honolulu Police Department is now offering a $1,000 reward for a man (and an apparent accomplice) who entered a store on Oct. 3, grabbed a case of Spam and punched a security guard who attempted to stop him.
Police reported that the thief “fled in an unknown direction.”
These Spam snatchers are not hungry people desperate for Spam, said Tina Yamaki, president of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii. They are most likely part of a Spam black market that’s taking off in a state where the demand for Spam knows no bounds.
“It’s a staple,” Yamaki told The Washington Post.
The thefts have proliferated to the point that some businesses are putting Spam in plastic cases under lock and key, she said, along with the more conventional and more expensive shoplifting targets such as electronics, Gillette Power Fusion razor refills and, as it happens, canned corned beef, also popular in Hawaii.
To buy a can of Spam, you have to ask a salesperson to retrieve it.
Yamaki thinks Spam has become a form of currency, particularly for drug addicts in need of quick cash. With Spam selling for roughly $2.50 per 12-ounce can (depending on where in Hawaii you look), a thief who paid nothing for an 8-pack or a case of 12 can turn a decent profit underselling the retailers from whom they stole.
Brilliant! The story goes on to talk about how and why the Spam black market thrives and what it means for the Hawaiian economy. You really must finish and you will be smiling all day too.
But real quick, what is the last thing you have shop lifted?