Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries says they understand Winnipeggers are frustrated, but there’s no “magic bullet” to stopping brazen, rampant thefts in their stores.
In a press conference held at MLL headquarters Monday, spokesperson Andrea Kowal said Winnipeggers need to be patient.
Kowal also said smartphone video is not needed to help catch criminals.
“We have state-of-the-art surveillance cameras, we don’t need your help with iPhone videos.”
Numbers from Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries show incidents of theft rose more than 300 per cent in 2018 from 2017, jumping from 658 thefts in Liquor Marts to more than 2,600 in 2018.
Police said Monday that Winnipeggers need to be careful intervening with liquor store robberies, after videos of customers performing ‘citizen’s arrests’ have made the rounds on social media.
“The first concern is safety and a lot of these individuals are carrying weapons,” said Const. Jay Murray.
“They can be unpredictable they can be agitated. Especially if you’re about to restrain them they can become desperate and use that weapon.”
Murray said despite appearances, police are following up on liquor store thefts.
“There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t see a number of people arrested for liquor theft-related offences,” he said.
“Arrests are being made, people are being liable for stealing liquor or other property from other stores.”