2 Winnipeg men charged in connection to 132 liquor store thefts
Published Tuesday, September 11, 2018 1:47PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, September 12, 2018 5:28PM CST
Two men are facing dozens of charges after thefts from Liquor Marts in Winnipeg.
Police said the robberies by the two are not connected.
Between Feb. 14 and Aug. 20, 2018, police said a man would enter Liquor Marts around the city, take several bottles, and leave the store without attempting to pay.
On Monday shortly before 6:30 p.m. police arrested a man in connection to those thefts at a residence in the 400 block of Alexander Avenue.
Matthew James Swampy, 18, has been charged in connection to 52 theft incidents.
Meanwhile, between Mar. 19 and Sept. 7, 2018 police said a different man also went into several Liquor Marts around Winnipeg and took bottles without attempting to pay.
On Tuesday just after midnight officers arrested a man at a residence in the 500 block of Mountain Avenue.
David Norman Lee Ross, 18, has been charged in connection to 80 theft incidents.
Both men were detained in custody.
Const. Jay Murray said so far in 2018 the Winnipeg Police Service has received over 1,277 theft reports from the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba, 95 of which occurred in the month of September.
He added that these incidents are a drain on police resources and said prevention is key to in order to stop them.
“We will always work with businesses or agencies to mitigate crime, but there is a certain onus on all businesses to prevent these types of offences from occurring. Prevention rather than reactive policing will likely be a key component to alleviating this problem,” he said.
Murray also noted that during these thefts the security guards present haven’t intervened.
“Often what happens is these individuals come into a store they start to load up liquor or steal it and they just walk out, “ he said.
In a news release, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries said it's important to focus on the fact that there have been several recent arrests in connection to these incidents.
"While recent coverage of these incidents has mostly focused on the assumption that Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries has done little to combat this problem, it is important to note the positive outcomes - the arrests of several individuals in recent weeks who are responsible for hundreds of thefts/robberies at our Liquor Marts," said the statement.
"In cooperation with police, we continue to focus on apprehending the most egregious offenders."