If the 1994 “Sucrets Early Retirement Package” made the public’s “reuse” of their packaging into a popular news item, the company was pretty selective about which specific uses (and misuses) that it chose to publicize.
Most newspapers were happy to mention the queen of England’s crown jewels…
“An English jeweler who reset the crown of Queen Elizabeth II in 1954 once wrote the company to tell it that Her Majesty’s jewels were stored for a time in a Sucrets tin.”
NY Times, 1994
But, while their packaging has been frequently put to charming, domestic uses (ad hoc sewing kits, etc.) — there are other, less celebrated ways in which Sucrets tins have been long been re-purposed.
SmithKline Beecham may have briefly considered calling their new 1994 packaging the Sucrets “lozenge-locker,” but it’s in the police station evidence locker that plenty of Secrets tins have, themselves, been stored.
Worse still (for the brand), police blotters and court documents are not shy about mentioning the Sucrets brand name. (See also: Packaging & Moral Turpitude)
As the officer was obtaining identification from the occupants of the car, he observed on the street 15-20 feet in front of his car, as shown by his headlights, an open Sucrets tin, four hand-rolled cigarettes and a corncob pipe. The officer stated that he had been involved in at least eight arrests where Sucrets tins were used for concealing marijuana and, based on his experience, a corncob pipe was a common device for smoking marijuana. He also stated that there were several parked cars in the vicinity and he had not seen from where the objects had come.
Peolple v. Gottanborg
Circuit Court of Knox County, 1976
Officer Anderson found marijuana seeds, burned marijuana cigarettes and more amphetamines in the nightstand in the bedroom. Also found was a metal Sucrets box which when opened was found to contain two syringes and hypodermic needles. The Sucrets box was not large enough to contain a handgun.
Thompson v. Superior Court
Court of Appeals of California, Fifth Appellate District, 1977
(More from the Sucrets evidence locker, after the fold…)
McGetrick arrested defendant and searched him. He removed a sawed-off rifle from defendant’s pant leg and a metal Sucrets box from his pocket. McGetrick shook the box and thought that it contained a razor blade. He opened it and discovered razor blades and several bindles containing what proved to be heroin and cocaine. Continuing the search, McGetrick also found syringes and a blackened spoon in one of defendant’s socks.
State v. Jones
Court of Appeals of Oregon, 1990
The government’s evidence revealed that Officer Robinson observed appellant in what appeared to be a craps game on the corner of 23rd and Savannah Streets, S.E., in the early morning of June 1, 1991. Officer Robinson then left that location to obtain assistance. When Robinson returned with other officers, he observed appellant take a Sucrets box from his sock and start running. Similarly, Officer Ruiz testified that he saw appellant take a white object from his pants and place it on the ground before running from the area. Appellant was also observed throwing money as he ran. The Sucrets box, which contained small ziplock bags filled with cocaine, was recovered by Officer James King within 45 seconds of appellant’s departure from the scene.
Woodward v. United States
District of Columbia Court of Appeals, 1993
At approximately 2:15 a.m. on January 27, 1991, Police Officers Thomas Fielden and John Murks observed Pruett exiting a liquor store carrying two cases of beer. The Officers stopped him, inquired concerning his age and upon discovering he was nineteen years old arrested him for Illegal Possession of Alcohol by a Minor. A search incident to the arrest produced a Sucrets sore throat lozenge box hidden inside Pruett’s underwear. Inside the box were five hand-rolled cigarettes containing a green, leafy substance later determined to be marijuana. Also inside the Sucrets box was a plastic baggie containing small perforated papers which Pruett admitted were doses of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), a Schedule I Controlled Substance.
Pruett v. State
Court of Appeals of Indiana, Fifth District, 1993
Linda’s sky-blue Range Rover is the campaign’s command central on wheels. She’s got a place for her water bottle, clipboards, lists, even the gun, which she loads with bullets from the Sucrets box and stows in a closed compartment, though she doesn’t have a concealed-weapon permit.
Phoenix New Times News, 1994
Hurst asked Vaughan if he had any weapons, and Vaughan responded, “I have knives.” … Hurst asked Vaughan if he had any other weapons, and Vaughan said, “There’s a knife in my pocket under a tin. Vaughan reached in the pocket and had to remove the tin to get to the knife. The knife was about two or two-and-a-half inches long when folded, and it could have fit inside the tin. Hurst handed the knife and tin to Boone. The tin had velcro taped to it, which was suspicious to the officers because it suggested that the tin could be easily concealed or stored somewhere. Because he was worried about officer safety and the possibility that Vaughan had even more knives, Hurst then asked Vaughan if there were any weapons in the tin, and Vaughan said, “No, it’s my Sucrets tin.” Hurst asked, “Do you mind if we open it?” Vaughan replied, “I wish you wouldn’t.” Boone then opened the tin because of a concern that there might be weapons inside it, specifically, a knife. Inside were several baggies of a white crystal substance that was later determined to be methamphetamine. Vaughan was then arrested and his car searched.
Vaughan v. State
Georgia Court of Appeals, 2006
Anthony, 49, an African-American man who grew up in Brooklyn and Queens, said that between the years 1967–1976 his group of 14 “running buddies” were:
Lucky to have 2–3 sets [of works] between us. Sometimes you would keep them in Sucrets [tin] boxes, carry them with you when you traveled, and use them over and over…Needles [used to make works] were for sale and resale until the late ‘70s or early ‘80s, when [diabetic] syringes become more available.
William, 50, an African-American man who grew up in Brooklyn, said,
You would keep them in a Sucrets can and use it [the works] for months on end…from the early 1970s on often stores [in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn] wouldn’t sell them [products with glass eye-droppers] [to people they suspected of injection drug use].
Several problems inherent in this homemade injection equipment quickly became urgent as IDUs’ [intravenous drug users] knowledge of AIDS developed. One was the relative difficulty and/or complexity associated with gathering together the various components necessary for assembling a set of works. The initial costs involved in making these works were high—in money, time, and potentially embarrassing or stigmatizing encounters; in addition, all the components might not be available on demand. IDUs were often faced with a dilemma—to carry works around with them, which increased the risk of arrest and prison, or to go to shooting galleries where works were “for rent”.
Harm reduction theory: Users’ culture, micro-social indigenous harm reduction, and the self-organization
and outside-organizing of users’ groups
The International Journal on Drug Policy, 2007
“A tin bottle cap served as my cooker in which I heated up my dope to a boil. A piece of cotton which I usually pulled off of my sweat socks or from the filter of a cigarette served to filter out any impurities from the now, cooked up heroin. Along with matches, these items made up the paraphernalia necessary to shoot up heroin, which I kept in a Sucrets Cough Lozenges box when not in use.”
The Foundling: Journey of a Street Child, 2009
On Wednesday, Deputy Jesse Terrell went to a home where he was told by a woman that she had found a metal Sucrets container at the edge of her property and inside was what appeared to be a small amount of marijuana.
Suspecting the illegal drug might be her son’s, the woman said she questioned the 17-year-old and he became angry and said the substance was not marijuana.
Terrell talked with the teenager, who reportedly said the container belonged to him and he was going to dispose of it after he smoked the drug.
As Terrell was walking to tell the teen’s mother that he was going to transport her son to the Juvenile Assessment Center, the dog bit the deputy on the back of each leg, according to the report. Terrell shot and killed the dog.
Police Beat: Deputy bitten by dog expected to recover
Ocala Star banner, 2010
IMPAIRED DRIVING, SOM CENTER ROAD: A Chagrin Falls woman, 21, refused to take a blood test at an area hospital after police pulled her over early on April 24 for speeding on the freeway at 75 mph, then found a glass pipe and a Sucrets’ lozenge tin containing suspected hashish.
Solon Police Blotter, Sun News, Cleveland, 2013
Not the British crown jewels, but 8 Very shiny imitation rhinestone buttons in an old Sucrets lozenge tin.
Side bar: In 2006, Sucrets held a “Sucrets Tin Sweepstakes” asking consumers: “What have you used an empty tin of Sucrets for?”