Shoplifting suspects failed to make a clean getaway when police followed a trail of washing powder from the store.
Police were called to Iceland in Alnwick on Wednesday afternoon after staff reported washing powder and two bottles of alcohol had been stolen.
Officers spotted a trail of soap powder leading away from the shop on Bondgate Within and set about following it.
They arrested three men and recovered suspected stolen property.
An 18-year-old man has been charged with theft, a 32-year-old man has been charged with three counts of shoplifting and one of possessing drugs. Both are due to appear before magistrates on May 5.
A third man, aged 21, has been released on bail pending further inquiries.