April 18, 2019

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Liquor marts hire officers to curb theft

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Manitoba liquor stores are experimenting with a rent-a-cop approach to solving an epidemic of liquor thefts.

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries experimented with using special duty constables at some of its liquor marts during the first weekend of February. The constables are contracted from Winnipeg Police Service for a fee.

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries is keeping mum on the program details out of concern for the effectiveness of the program and staff safety, it said in a statement. Neither is it saying whether the pilot project will continue.

MLL said it is working closely with Winnipeg police to explore ways to deter thefts at liquor marts.

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Manitoba liquor stores are experimenting with a rent-a-cop approach to solving an epidemic of liquor thefts.

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries experimented with using special duty constables at some of its liquor marts during the first weekend of February. The constables are contracted from Winnipeg Police Service for a fee.

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries is keeping mum on the program details out of concern for the effectiveness of the program and staff safety, it said in a statement. Neither is it saying whether the pilot project will continue.

MLL said it is working closely with Winnipeg police to explore ways to deter thefts at liquor marts.

"We are currently in the process of evaluating several options in consultation with (Winnipeg police)," it said.

The government liquor stores have been struck by a rash of thefts in the past year. There were 658 theft incidents at Manitoba Liquor Marts in 2017. That figure soared to 2,602 in 2018.

Since October, there have been 62 arrests. Many of the suspects are believed responsible for multiple thefts at liquor marts and other retail outlets, MLL said in a statement.

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