November 15, 2019

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Video records thieves fleeing with liquor

A video of another group theft at a Liquor Mart made its rounds on social media over the weekend.

A 30-second video posted to Facebook showed about six people appearing to run out the door with bags of alcohol. Bottles can be heard rattling around in the audio of the clip.

Tina McKay, who posted the now-deleted video, said she and a friend went to the Fort Richmond Liquor Mart around 6 p.m. on Saturday. Not even one minute after stepping into the store, they saw the thieves walk in wearing hoods that partly covered their faces. McKay immediately knew their intentions.

"I felt like it was very organized," said McKay. "They all looked like they knew where they were going."

She said the thieves, all carrying reusable bags, were in and out of the store in approximately 60 seconds.

McKay noted there were two security guards present, but both they and the Liquor Mart employees did not try to stop the thieves.

Liquor Mart employees can be seen in the video standing idle as the thieves run by them.

When asked whether the culprits have been apprehended, police declined to comment, saying they didn't want to encourage copycats.

Thefts from liquor stores have risen substantially in the past two years. Manitoba Liquor Marts reported a 300 per cent increase of theft in their stores, with 658 recorded in 2017 to 2,602 in 2018.

In a written statement made by Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, a spokesperson says thefts are the highest they’ve ever been.

"We are still implementing additional measures in an attempt to affect some notable change in the number of incidents. We will not stop exploring every option," the statement said.

In March, officials with the MLL introduced new security measures across the city, including mandatory ID checks at the door with security guards, bag checks and bottle locks on more expensive items.

In May, the provincial Crown corporation said it had seen a 23 per cent decrease in theft since the inception of the new security measures. 

A different video posted to social media earlier this month shows a similar scene as Saturday’s video, with suspects grabbing bottles off shelves at a Tyndall Park Liquor Mart and escaping with backpacks full of alcohol. Five teens were arrested in connection to that theft.

city.desk@freepress.mb.ca

 

 

 

 

 

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