Alcohol stores in Winnipeg have been forced to take drastic action after a series of Manitoba liquor store thefts left staff concerned for their safety. By 2020, all Winnipeg Liquor Marts will be fitted with locked and controlled entrances, and all customers will have to show photo ID at a security station before being allowed inside.

On Thursday morning, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries announced the drastic alterations to the way many provincial liquor stores currently operate.

Over the coming weeks and months, all Winnipeg Liquor Marts will undergo several large operational changes, and all stores will be fitted with brand-new secure entrances and security stations.

In Winnipeg, in addition to adults having to show ID at an outside security station, minors will no longer be permitted inside, even if accompanied by an adult.

Locked doors and security staff will prevent anyone without valid ID from entering the store, in the hope of preventing any further violent incidents at Liquor Mart locations.

This follows a series of brazen thefts across Winnipeg, culminating on Thursday when staff at Tyndall Park Liquor Mart were violently attacked by a 15-year-old boy.

Manitoba is currently experiencing a much higher-than-average number of liquor store thefts and break-ins, causing staff to demand stronger safety measures in stores.

"As a modern retailer, we have tried to balance employee and customer safety with an enjoyable shopping experience," a statement from Manitoba Liquor Mart reads.

"Unfortunately, rising crime in the city has left us no option but to take these drastic measures."

Their message added: "We know you will be inconvenienced, and we are sorry, but the safety of our employees and customers comes first."

Further details on the roll-out of the new entrances are yet to be released, as the Crown corporation is concerned it could make other stores more vulnerable.

Several videos have recently surfaced online showing thieves taking armloads of alcohol and brazenly walking past staff, who have been instructed not to intervene.

Sadly, Manitoba is not the only province suffering from such burglaries. Similar incidents have taken place in Saskatchewan, in Alberta, and in Ontario in recent months.

In a post on their Twitter page, Manitoba Liquor Mart thanked the public for their ongoing support, writing, "We know you care, and we love you for it."

Meanwhile, Tyndall Park Liquor Mart will remain closed until the new secure entrance has been fitted.

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