Liquor store thefts increased 300% between 2018 and 2019.
Organized crime groups are coordinating brazen thefts of huge amounts of liquor at a time, which is then used as street-level currency and illegally sold on to smaller liquor stores, bars and restaurants at cut-rate prices. The financial losses are huge, but the human cost is so much higher – liquor store employees are being threatened and attacked with bear spray, knives and guns as people who are armed and backed by gangs steal product to fuel this lucrative underground market.
Establishments willing to buy the stolen product save on their supply costs, and everyone else pays the price for it. The proceeds from selling stolen liquor support gang activity in our communities, including acts of violence, the illegal drug trade and exploitation of vulnerable people.
We can’t let this keep happening. For the safety of employees, customers and the whole community, something has to be done.
As long as someone’s willing to buy the stolen bottles, the thefts and assaults won’t stop.
Every business that sells or serves alcohol in Edmonton can do their part to end this. By publicly committing to buying your product from legitimate, legal sources, you can send a message – to your customers, your community and the people cutting costs by buying stolen bottles.
The Legally Sourced program is a new extension of the Best Bar None program. By participating, you can help raise awareness of the harm caused by stolen liquor sales and show your commitment to running an ethical business.
Stand up for safety and integrity. Take the Legally Sourced pledge.
To join the Legally Sourced initiative, read and accept the pledge and then fill out the form below. There is no cost to participate, and you will receive a participation package including:
This establishment sells alcohol from legal and legitimate sources only.
Purchasing and reselling stolen liquor fuels organized crime, which comes at an enormous cost to our communities. We pledge to our customers and neighbours that we will never take part in an illegal market that helps criminal organizations spread violence, exploitation and the illegal drug trade.
Just as we urge our customers to drink responsibly, we promise to source our products responsibly. Together, we can help put an end to liquor theft and resale in Edmonton.
To do our part, we’ve committed to:
The following stores, restaurants and bars have taken the Legally Sourced pledge.