This bulletin is to advise liquor store licensees of an increase in blatant and unconcealed liquor thefts from stores in Calgary and Edmonton. These thefts have been linked to low-level organized crime groups.
Liquor is a sought-after commodity for thieves who consider it an easy target for shoplifting. Class D liquor store licensees have reported an increase of individuals or groups of individuals entering premises with large bags, filling them with product and leaving without paying. Instances of store staff attempting to interfere have resulted in threats and in some extreme cases, assault and injury.
There are steps licensees can take to work to prevent these crimes in your premises. Section 4.7 of the Retail Liquor Store Handbook includes a number of security best practices and mitigation strategies to consider, such as using video surveillance, security alarm systems and deadbolt locks. Proactive mitigation strategies will best position licensees to prevent and deter crime. These also align with Section 1.5.3 (b) of the Retail Liquor Store Handbook of a licensee’s responsibility to “place a high priority on maintaining a safe premises.”
AGLC encourages licensees to report all liquor thefts to local law enforcement to combat this type of crime. Licensees should be prepared to proceed with charges against all shoplifters.