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Theft from Alexandria’s Virginia ABC stores jumped more than 200% in 2023

The Virginia ABC store at 3815 Mount Vernon Avenue in Arlandria (via Google Maps)

Liquor store thefts jumped more than 200% in Alexandria in 2023, according to the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.

There are six Virginia ABC stores in Alexandria. The store with the most incidents is the Arlandria store at 3815 Mount Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray North Shopping Center, which saw 43 incidents of theft last year, up from just eight reported incidents in 2022. The store with the highest amount of theft is at 501 Montgomery Street in Old Town North, which saw 23 incidents.

Virginia ABC said that there were a total of 100 reported thefts from Alexandria stores last year, versus 31 thefts in 2022, an increase of 222%. The increase in thefts isn’t just being felt in Alexandria, but throughout Virginia.

“Sometimes there were more than two thefts in one day,” an employee of the Arlandria store tells ALXnow. “They just walk in, take bottles and walk out. We don’t stop them, we just call police and they come in and review the security footage and sign insurance forms.”

Virginia ABC does not employ security guards in its network of 400 stores, and is undertaking a “multi-pronged approach to address retail and internal theft,” according to Pat Kane, a public relations specialist for Virginia ABC.

“No product in our store is worth risking the safety of our team members and customers,” Kane said. “Virginia ABC values its relationships with local law enforcement. Staff are trained to gather actionable information to generate usable suspect information and leads.”

Kane said the changes include:

  • Emphasizing staff interaction with customers
  • Minimizing the quantity of high-theft products that are placed on shelves at any one time
  • Moving products for maximum visibility by staff members
  • Enhancing camera systems
  • Ensuring the sight lines of camera systems
  • Lowering inventory levels at stores
  • Adding additional in-store staff

The Alexandria Police Department said that liquor store thefts pose a significant risk to the public, and that any suspicious activity should be reported by calling 911.

“Larceny with intent to sell or distribute stolen products is a felony and can result in jail time,” said APD Communications Manager Tracy Walker. “APD is aware of this crime trend occurring nationally and within our community and we make patrol of these store areas a part of our daily field operations and the broader strategy to suppress retail robberies.

Thefts from Virginia ABC stores in Alexandria in 2023 and 2022 (via Virginia ABC)

Via Google Maps

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