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Union Leader wants to meet Ford about theft growth from LCBO stores

Chris Fox,

Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2018 15:52 EST

Last updated: Saturday, December 29, 2018 16:39 EST

The union head, representing more than 7,000 union members in the LCBO, says that he is “very concerned” about the growing number of thefts of alcoholic beverages and wants to discuss this issue with Prime Minister Doug Ford.

OPSEU President Warren "Smokey" Thomas made a comment on CP24 after publishing the story in "Toronto Star", which described in detail the increase in frequency and arrogance of LCLC theft.

The newspaper reports that over the past four and a half years, Toronto police reported more than 9,000 thefts from LCBO stores, which was the largest in any retail network over this period of time.

The story also described in detail several arrogant thefts, during which shoplifters had dozens of bottles, and employees and fellow buyers stood nearby. In one of the incidents described in this story, two men reportedly stole about $ 2,000 of vodka from the LCBO store in the east, leaving the shelf mostly empty. The newspaper reported that a specific theft occurred in about three minutes, and about 40 people saw it.

Speaking with CP24 on Saturday afternoon, Thomas said that although his union was “trying to attract” the LCBO leadership on this issue, these discussions did not lead to any action at the moment.

“It seems that the LCBO is concerned about this, but we want them to be concerned enough to take some serious action and try to find some solutions instead of saying that this is a problem and not intervene,” said Thomas CP24. “I urge the prime minister and the responsible minister to meet with the LCBO and tell them what they are going to do to solve this problem.”

Employees are instructed not to contact those suspected of stealing from the store

Earlier this month, the police of the 14th Division arrested two people who were allegedly involved in the theft in a store responsible for stealing goods worth more than $ 200,000 in LCBO stores.

Police said the arrests followed a months-long investigation conducted in coordination with the LCBO investigators.

However, up to 10 people who are believed to have been involved in the ring remain outstanding.

Thomas said that although the safety of employees and customers is his “primary concern”, there may be some innovative solutions to help solve a problem that becomes a real problem in LCBO stores.

“Our management tells me that they have one idea that the LCBO can actually create its own security personnel, train it to keep the retail experience that the LCBO provides, and keep it in stores. They may be in uniform or in civilian clothes. This is at least a start, ”he said.

In a statement submitted by CP24, the LCBO stated that it had taken “appropriate steps” to prevent theft, increasing its “security costs and investigators, as well as video surveillance technology.”

The LCBO added that while theft is always a concern, the total amount of money it loses as a result of the theft is below the retail standard.

“Responsible sale of an alcoholic beverage is a public trust, to which the LCBO is taken very seriously, and this extends to the prevention of theft in stores. Shoplifting is a reality that we have to deal with in any of our LCBO centers throughout the province, and we are always looking for ways to minimize its impact while maintaining safety first and foremost, ”the statement said.

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