BAYSWATER police have begun Operation Anglesmith following a spike in theft from liquor stores.
They are focusing on Maylands before moving on to stores in Bayswater and Mt Lawley.
Officer-in-charge John Waghorn said he received about four reports of stealing from liquor stores each day and there had been up to 45 incidents over the past three months.
“We have got a number of problem areas, in particular the Liquorland store in Guildford Road Maylands, at the BWS store in Eighth Avenue in Maylands and also the Vintage Cellars on Beaufort Street in Mt Lawley,” he said.
“People consistently walk in, grab a 10-pack of pre-mixed drinks and walk out.
“We had one member of the public put a carton of beer on the counter to pay and a crook walked in from outside and grabbed the carton and walked straight out.”
Senior Sergeant Waghorn said the stores had “challenge policies”, which meant staff could not challenge offenders.
“Of course, when that becomes common knowledge amongst criminals, they just come into a liquor store and take whatever they want and no one is going to challenge them,” he said.
“We are doing target patrols, we have got other business units that are supporting us doing target patrols both in marked and un-marked vehicles at these liquor outlets.
“Some of the business premises have to abide by their main central management so these localised managers have limited ability to move away from company policy.
“We are trying to negotiate with some of the area managers and we are just trying to get them to target and reduce the amount of thefts that are taking place.
“That is our biggest issue at the present moment.”
Operation Anglesmith will run until August 1.