'Extreme Couponing' show blamed for rise in newspaper thefts

KHBS NW Arkansas

A 34-year-old Arkansas woman was charged with misdemeanor theft last week after she stole 185 unsold copies of the Springdale Morning News that were left outside a grocery store for a carrier to pick up. She told police she's a coupon club member and didn't think she was doing anything wrong. "She was just trying to save some money," says her lawyer. Since the April debut of TLC's "Extreme Couponing", there have been reports of newspaper and coupon thefts in Idaho, Texas, Alabama, Florida, and California.

In one case at the Orange County Register, a woman returned an armload of papers for more because, she said, they didn't contain inserts. She was seen in her car pulling out the inserts after she traded in the old stack.
"People (clerks and vendors) are telling us the papers are incomplete, with the coupons gone," said Larry Riley, senior vice president in charge of circulation at The Orange County Register.

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.

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