FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: STATEMENT REGARDING LCBO SHOP THEFT
November 27, 2019 – Toronto. Following the recent press release issued by Halton Regional Police Service, the LCBO has issued the following statement regarding shop theft at LCBO retail locations:
Any theft is a concern, especially if it is brazen or a threat to safety. As shoplifting continues to rise across the retail industry, LCBO retail stores remain targets for shoplifters.
Like other retailers, the LCBO is careful about providing details to the public on how we deal with theft as it puts the effectiveness of our measures and the safety of our employees at risk. We have seen a direct correlation between increased media attention and an increase in incidents.
We do however take store theft seriously and we will continue to do so.
Some of the claims that have been made about LCBO shop theft, and policies and practices regarding theft, have been inaccurate. It has been alleged that the LCBO loses $77 million to shop theft each year. Although like many retailers we do not release reported shop theft losses, we can confirm that over the last five fiscal years the LCBO’s loss due to reported shop theft has been consistently under $6 million in retail dollars per year.
It is also not accurate that LCBO employees are told to do nothing when they witness shop theft. Employees who physically confront shoplifters put themselves, their colleagues and our customers at risk. Instead, LCBO employees receive regular, mandatory training in theft detection, deterrence and reporting. This training focuses on personal safety, observation, and gathering information to support police investigations.
In addition to relying on our employees and a multitude of prevention tools, the LCBO uses technology to deter and pursue shoplifters and help police apprehend suspects. Every one of our stores has CCTV equipment, which is continually upgraded. We have also implemented other technical safeguards in our stores, as well as increased security guarding in many locations.
We are proud that LCBO employees’ reports and store security footage help lead to arrests. Since April 2018, our records show that LCBO contract security and local police services across the province have arrested more than 2,500 store theft suspects, resulting in nearly 3,600 charges.
While the LCBO will continue to take proactive, collaborative, and substantive actions to address shop theft with our appropriate partners, we will not be providing further details or comment on our shop theft action plan to help ensure the effectiveness of our measures and the safety of our employees and customers.
LCBO Press Office