Series of violent robberies raise concerns for Winnipeg retailers and workers

Series of violent robberies raise concerns for Winnipeg retailers and workers, Vladimir Volenyuk

A series of recent retail store robberies left store owners and management concerned and the employees are worried about their own safety.

Winnipeg Police currently investigating few recent robberies and employees attack, officers talk about a large number of thefts. Nowadays in Winnipeg, there is no question if the robbery will occur but when it will happen.

On Friday, April 5th police arrested a man following separate incidents – the first at the Marlborough Hotel, the second at a Shoppers Drug Mart on Sherbrook Street.

Officers said a store employee required medical attention in hospital after being slashed in the wrist at Shoppers Drug Mart, while a security guard at the Marlborough Hotel was stabbed in the hand, but did not require immediate medical attention.

Manfred Boehm , the Marlborough Hotel owner witnessed the incident, he is in shock and truly worried about his business and employees safety. He said a worker in the gift shop called a hotel security guard for assistance about a shoplifter. Security then confronted the individual with items, the individual wanted to leave, security then just grabbed his arm and that’s when he had taken out a knife.

The attacker had nicked security guard in the hand and then he proceeded to run out the door and down Portage Ave.

A 26-year-old Justin Seth Shorting has been arrested and charged with two counts of theft under $5000, two counts of possession with a weapon and two counts of assault with a weapon in connection with Friday’s incidents.

One of the employees said that the behavior of the robbers goes beyond all limits. They smash entire windows, they empty stores. Sometimes, robbers threaten employees with a knife or pepper spray. Thieves even used broken bottles as weapons.

Also, recently there was a big wave of Liquor Mart alcohol attacks and thefts. The employees said that a high level of stress, anxiety, anger, and depression are now a chronic condition for them. They no longer remember when they came to work without fear for their health.

Andrea Kowal, MLL's director of communications and corporate affairs, agrees that such a number of incidents is very dangerous for people and their health. Kowal reported that more than 200 employees had left Manitoba Liquor Mart during the last year.

Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries is criticized for publishing names of people charged with store crimes
robberies Marlborough Hotel Shoppers Drug Mart Sherbrook Street
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