Province looking to tackle liquor store thefts

The Alberta Government wants to stop a crime trend in the city from going to rural communities.

Justice Minister and Solicitor General, Doug Schweitzer, announced a working group will be formed to help combat liquor store related thefts.

In a statement, Schweitzer talks about his concern with this growing trend.

“Criminals and gangs are preying on hard-working, law-abiding Albertans and business owners. Our government will work with our partners in law enforcement and in the industry to deter liquor store thefts through better prevention and ensuring appropriate consequences for the perpetrators.”

Schweitzer explains a pilot project being tested in the City of Edmonton.

“It’s basically a process where you have to have a valid ID to enter the liquor store premises,” explains Schweitzer.

“It gives the person the ability to verify that the person at the door is the one on the ID. It also creates a record of who is coming on the premises. It’s meant to deter crime because people are literally entering (liquor) stores with hockey bags and cleaning off shelves. We are taking action now to make sure this does not escalate across the province.”

Police in Edmonton alone responded to more than 9,500 liquor store thefts in 2019 – an average of 26 a day – triple the 3,273 in 2018.

According to the Peace Region RCMP Detachment, the numbers only show a total of 21 liquor store related calls over the same time period.

Former Edmonton Police Service Member, and current Edmonton area MLA, Brad Rutherford, will chair the working group.

– Kenny Trenton, Trending 55 Newsroom