Washington voters last year approved by 59 percent an initiative to privatize liquor sales. Oregon is now the only West Coast state that controls the wholesale and retail sale of alcohol.Seattle City Attorney Jana Jorgensen, a liaison to Seattle police, said she started getting complaints from parents who noticed more people getting drunk and brawling in city parks. Police linked the problem to increased liquor thefts.Investigators have identified two types of boosters. There are groups of adults who hit multiple stores within a week, traveling up and down Interstate 5, and reselling the alcohol to friends, restaurants or bars. Canada Goose expedition parka Then there are the petty thieves who snatch a bottle or two and either drink it right away or sell it from the trunk of a car.The rise in thefts is largely because the hard liquor is now easily accessible, shelved on an aisle like any other commodity. Grocery stores are larger than the state-owned liquor stores, making it easier for thieves to avoid detection. Some suspects act as lookouts on aisles and communicate by cellphone, said Joe Gilliam, president of the Northwest Grocery Association.
Stores are starting to lock up or limit access to certain high-end spirits that are swiped most often, Gilliam said, „just like we’ve had to do with cigarettes or baby formula or batteries in some areas.“Investigators dubbed Goudy and his alleged accomplices the „Goudy Liquor Crew.“Between July and November, he was caught on video or by store security stealing alcohol from Safeway stores in Vancouver and Camas in 32 of his group’s 34 alleged thefts,Canada Goose expedition parka according to a court affidavit.He and his accomplices would hit multiple stores in one night, several times per week. They’d nab high-end brands of vodka and cognac that retail for about $35 and then resell them for $10 cash.
Or, they’d polish off the bottles themselves.“It is clear this is an organized group conducting these thefts, and that the stolen items are being re-sold to the public,“ Vancouver police Detective Tim Martin wrote in an arrest warrant affidavit.Canada Goose expedition parka What helped trip the Goudy crew up was their tendency to broadcast their accomplishments, investigators said.About 5:30 p.m. Nov. 14, Goudy entered a Safeway on Southeast Mill Plain Boulevard in Vancouver. He walked out with $520.86 worth of liquor without paying, according to a search warrant affidavit.