A brazen theft caught on video appears to show a man taking several bottles of alcohol from a LCBO in Scarborough.
Shawn O’Connor said he saw the events unfold Friday evening at the liquor store near at McCowan and Kingston roads.
In the video, a man dressed in dark clothing can be seen taking bottles off the store shelf and putting the items into a black bag, exiting through the front entrance.
O’Connor said he was shocked by the incident and decided to follow the alleged thief in his vehicle.
“Another gentleman and I decided that we were going to follow him and maybe follow him home because he didn’t own a car,” O’Connor said.
“I called 911 and gave them a description and then I told them which way he was travelling … Once he noticed we were following him, he turned around and went back to McCowan and Kingston, stopping at the bus stop.”
The man ran off a short time later and left the bag with the alcohol behind.
“I handed the bag to the officers and left,” O’Connor said.
In February, the LCBO announced plans to ramp up security measures to deter thefts in some of its stores across the province following the arrest of two suspects believed to have been involved in up to 40 separate thefts from the LCBO in the past three months, resulting in the retail loss of about $92,000.
The company said it would be increasing the number of security guards at select stores to ensure the safety and security of its staff and customers and also train employees on how to take “safe actions” during thefts and how to be a credible witness to the crimes.
In a statement, the LCBO said it was “aware of the incident that took place at our Cliffcrest Plaza location and are working closely with police on this active investigation.”
O’Connor said police advised him to stop following the alleged thief, adding it’s not the first time he’s witnessed a theft at the LCBO.
“This will probably be the sixth or seventh time I’ve stopped somebody who has done that –- walked in with a bag and keep dropping bottles into the bag — and nobody does anything,” he said.
“Seeing someone that … thinks they are going to get away with stealing that many bottles, someone has to step up and do something.”
— With files from The Canadian Press