The popularity of "extreme couponing" is contributing to a rise in newspaper thefts across the country, according to Romenesko.
Police, supermarkets and newspapers have reported thefts of newspapers and weekly inserts in Arkansas, Idaho, Texas, Alabama, Florida and California. They have attributed the thefts to extreme couponing, as coined by the TLC reality show. The program, which debuted in April, shows people cutting their grocery bills by hundreds of dollars through the strategic use of coupons.
Most recently, a 34-year old woman in Arkansas stole 185 copies of the Springfield Morning News that were left outside of a grocery store for pick-up. The woman, who is a member of a coupon club, claims she didn't know she was doing anything wrong.
In Alabama, the Cullman Timess has also seen an increase in the number of newspapers and inserts stolen. Sam Mazarra, the newspaper's circulation manager, said, "Over my 31-year career as circulation director, it has never been this bad." The newspaper has issued a $500 cash reward for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of someone stealing newspapers.