'Boxes and boxes' of hard liquor stolen from Vancouver liquor distribution warehouse

A veteran employee of the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch is among those arrested following four-month investigation into theft of 1,000 bottles of hard liquor.

A veteran employee of the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch is among those arrested

A longtime employee of the BC Liquor Distribution Branch has been arrested but not charged after the theft of over $100,000 worth of liquor at a Vancouver warehouse. (Dillon Hodgin/CBC )

A longtime employee at a B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch warehouse in Vancouver has been arrested at work in connection with the theft of $100,000 worth of alcohol after a four-month internal investigation. 

The male employee was one of three people arrested after Vancouver police executed a search warrant at a home in Delta May 15 and recovered the alcohol, according to VPD spokesperson Const. Jason Doucette.  

Doucette described the stolen goods as "boxes and boxes" of hard liquor, totalling about 1,000 bottles.

No charges have been laid and the three were later released pending further investigation. 

'Discrepancies' tip off investigation

The LDB launched an investigation after discrepancies were found according to spokesperson Viviana Zanocco. "We figured out there was a discrepancy in inventory that's tracked daily," she told CBC.

The theft occurred at the Vancouver distribution centre at Rupert and Broadway and that is also where the employee was arrested. 

Vancouver police got involved in April and say the property crime unit worked with the LDB to collect evidence.

The men could be facing charges of theft over $5,000 and possession of stolen property, said Doucette. 

The B.C. Liquor Distribution branch says it investigates 'any and all anomalies' that are discovered and theft is a tiny fraction of its $2.4 billion in sales. (Dillon Hodgin/CBC )

Employee theft not tracked per se

The LDB does not keep specific figures on employee theft.

But Zanocco told CBC in an email that in the last fiscal year it lost about $1.637 million to "shrinkage" which was defined as "the loss of inventory... (to)...employee theft, shoplifting, administrative error, vendor fraud, damage in transit or in store and cashier errors..."

That's about 0.07 percent of total sales of over $2.4 billion. 

Zanocco says the "corporate loss prevention team investigates any and all anomalies, whether they're reported by systems or people." 

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said three employees of the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch had been arrested. In fact, only one of the three men arrested was employed by the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch.
    May 23, 2018 11:39 AM PT