LCBO blames media for booze bandit bonanza

So who’s in charge for the hundreds of thousands of in booze that brazen bandits have been boosting from liquor shops?

Certainly it’s not the cops who stopped responding to the scene of retail thefts below $5,000 due to understaffing. Nor might or not it’s politicians for not guaranteeing police companies have sufficient funding to place an acceptable variety of officers on the road.

It have to be the media’s fault for reporting on these points — or not less than that appears to be the LCBO’s rivalry.

“We have seen a direct correlation between increased media attention and an increase in incidents,” the Crown company mentioned in a press release Wednesday.

The assertion comes on the heels of Halton Regional Police arresting a trio for a collection of liquor retailer thefts that occurred final month — one in every of which was captured on video and posted on-line.

In that heist, two males strolled out of an Oakville liquor retailer — close to Dundas St. E. and Trafalgar Rd. — with an unknown quantity of alcohol.

The primary man is seen struggling to hold two heavy duffle luggage as an individual within the video is heard saying: “We got you on video guys, you’re going to be on YouTube tonight.”

A second criminal is then seen carrying a heavy bag in a single hand whereas pulling a suitcase on wheels together with his different as he walks out of the shop with out paying.

All through the alleged theft, LCBO clients are advised to not intrude.

On Monday, Halton cops revealed three suspects — Sule McClymont, 41,  Trevel Provo, 37, each of no fastened deal with, and Maurice Antoine, 48, of Toronto — had been charged with a number of counts of theft below $5,000.

“As shoplifting continues to rise across the retail industry, LCBO retail stores remain targets for shoplifters,” the LCBO mentioned. “We do, however, take store theft seriously and we will continue to do so.”

The LCBO additionally took time to dispute “inaccurate” liquor retailer theft experiences, together with a declare made earlier this yr by OPSEU — the union representing its staff — that $77 million was misplaced to shoplifting in 2018.

The LCBO mentioned losses as a consequence of shoplifting over the past 5 fiscal years have been “consistently under $6 million in retail dollars per year.”

“It is also not accurate that LCBO employees are told to do nothing when they witness shop theft,” the LCBO mentioned. “Employees who physically confront shoplifters put themselves, their colleagues and our customers at risk. Instead, LCBO employees receive regular, mandatory training in theft detection, deterrence and reporting.”

The LCBO famous its shops have safety cameras and safety guards have been employed at some places.

The LCBO mentioned video footage mixed with experiences filed by staff have helped police arrest 2,500 theft suspects since April 2018.

The rise in alcohol theft is just not confined to Ontario.

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries has put in a brand new safety entrance at one retailer requiring patrons to indicate ID with a view to be allowed inside. Safety entrances are anticipated to be put in at different liquor shops throughout the province sooner or later. (MLL handout)

Final week, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries CEO Manny Atwal mentioned shops in that province have been “under siege” for greater than a yr.

One liquor retailer, the place three staff had been lately attacked by knife-wielding crooks, has now put in a brand new safety entrance that requires patrons to provide identification earlier than being allowed inside.

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