Hawaiian stores lock up Spam because it keeps getting stolen

HONOLULU -- Spam, the canned meat -- not the annoying email -- has always been very popular in Hawaii.

So much so, in fact, that it is now being stolen repeatedly and sold on the black market for what officials believe is drug money. Or the thieves just sell it out of their cars.

“Since the shoplifters got the stolen goods for free, they are able to make a 100 percent profit reselling them,” Retail Merchants of Hawaii executive director Tina Yamaki told Honolulu Civil Beat.

Some stores require customers to call a clerk when they want their Spam. Others keep it up front under the watchful eyes of the cashiers.

Canned beef is also a hot item for thieves because it can fetch $5 to $6 a can.

There's even a name for it: Spam currency.