Washington State Liquor Control Board may require stores to report theft

Dec 5, 2012, 5:31 AM | Updated: 9:57 am

The Washington State Liquor Control Board may soon require stores to report liquor theft. (AP Photo...

The Washington State Liquor Control Board may soon require stores to report liquor theft. (AP Photo/file)

(AP Photo/file)

A recent KIRO Radio investigation found some retailers are losing $1,000 a day to liquor theft. The stores say those numbers are overblown, but there is no way to track the actual numbers because stores don’t report their losses. That could now change.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board is considering whether it should require retailers to report their liquor thefts, from one bottle going out the door, to a gang of thieves making off with a shopping cart of booze.

Brian Smith, with the liquor board, said they were asked to take this step by the Washington Association of Sheriff’s and Police Chiefs, and he believes it’s a good idea.

“It’s a step in the right direction to be able to get some sort of handle on the actual amount of liquor that’s been going out because it’s not typically reported,” he said.

Law enforcement wants the data so it can figure out how to combat the theft.

“We want some data so that we can then sit down and have some meaningful discussion rather than guessing at it or hearing anecdotes,” said Mitch Barker, executive director of the association.

Then the police can start working with the stores on prevention.

“It’s a real public safety issue because it’s not just a bottle here and a bottle there,” said Smith. “What we’re hearing is people stealing a lot at once. It gets out on the black market and that’s where kids have access to it and it’s untaxed and sold that way.”

“I think once we have it, it will tell us some things, either that there’s no real problem or it’s no greater than theft or shoplifting of beef jerky. I think it will give us the numbers. I think it will give us locations.”

The liquor board will consider the idea for the first time Wednesday, and mandatory reporting could be required of all retailers by early next year.

Retailers aren’t sold on the idea. They say publicizing the numbers could tell thieves which stores are more vulnerable to theft.

MyNorthwest News

Photo: Pro-Palestinian protesters have set up an encampment at the UW campus....

Sam Campbell

Protesters at UW encampment harass, shine laser in eye of photojournalist

A FOX 13 photographer was harassed and had a laser shined in his eye while filming near the pro-Palestinian UW encampment this week.

40 minutes ago

Puget Sound Energy crews work on a powerline....

Julia Dallas

Have you paid your electric bill? You may get a call from collections

If you haven't paid your electric bill for a while, you may get a call from a collection agency. Puget Sound Energy has resumed collections.

53 minutes ago

Photo: Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks during a press conference at his office on F...

Julia Dallas

New poll: AG Ferguson has edge in governor’s race over Reichert

A new poll from the left-leaning Northwest Progressive Institute has found AG Bob Ferguson has widened his lead in his bid for governor.

1 hour ago

Photo: UW Seattle students set up an autonomous Liberated Zone for a "Free Palestine." It features ...

Steve Coogan and Charlie Harger

Group agrees to disband UW encampment after reaching deal with administration

Protesters who had set up an encampment on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle say they're packing up and going home.

3 hours ago

Photo: The Kia logo brands a steering wheel inside of a Kia car....

Micki Gamez

Another Kia software upgrade is happening in Bellevue

Kia through the Bellevue Police Department is offering free software upgrades to those who qualify in an effort to prevent theft.

6 hours ago

Image: Scottie Scheffler celebrates after a birdie on the 10th hole during the second round of the ...

Associated Press

No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler: From the course to jail and back after Friday arrest

Top-ranked golfer Scottie Scheffler was arrested after police say he dragged an officer while trying to get around a fatal accident Friday.

7 hours ago

Washington State Liquor Control Board may require stores to report theft