Employee of liquor stabbed, another pepper sprayed by thieves in Edmonton

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A group of thieves stabbed an employee of a liquor store and pepper sprayed another in Edmonton late on Monday.

The incident occurred at approximately 8:10 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, after two male suspects entered a liquor store in the area of 131 Avenue and 82 Street and reportedly pepper sprayed an employee in the face.

A second employee then reportedly followed the two suspects, and an altercation took place during which the employee was stabbed.

He was treated and transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. EPS Robbery Section is investigating.

A/Sgt. Ben Davis said “This event highlights the dire need for preventative action to protect liquor store employees.”

“When EPS partnered with ALCANNA on our pilot project to implement ID scanners in liquor stores, we found that theft and the violence associated with it were reduced by at least 94% at former high-theft locations. We know this technology saves lives, and the EPS continues to advocate with government and the liquor industry to make ID scanners an industry-wide security standard,” David added.

In 2018, the EPS recognized an increase in liquor theft/robbery events throughout the city. Synonymous with this spike in crime was the concerning rise of associated violence demonstrated by offenders, the Edmonton Police said in a statement.

Additionally in 2018, an ALCANNA employee sustained life-threatening injuries after being stabbed in the chest while trying to prevent a theft, the Edmonton Police said, adding that opting to take a proactive approach to address this community risk, the EPS studied similar past crime trends and worked with external community partners.

The result was the creation of a controlled entrance concept that was successfully trialed by ALCANNA. This concept effectively reduces theft/robbery events and affiliated community risk by 94%.

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