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“We see threats, weapons all the time,”: London Drugs president says violent shoplifting plaguing PG location

Ongoing and violent shoplifting continues to be a big problem at the Prince George London Drugs location on Parkwood Place.

The mall complex has already lost one major tenant as Save-on-Foods moved out of the downtown core and into the Pine Centre Mall at the end of September.

President and COO, Clint Mahlman told that the PG location has one of the highest crime rates ranking in the top five for loss, despite this – they are not closing the store.

“In the last seven months alone, there have been over a dozen incidents at the Prince George store that include threatening to stab our staff or kill our staff members. They have even tried to dissuade staff from even approaching them.”

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Mahl added the situation has gotten so bad they’ve needed to increase security measures.

“We see threats and weapons all the time. We have had to fly in assistants from other areas of the company to bolster security at the Prince George store.”

While there have been discussions about closing several locations in Vancouver due to the same rampant problem, the Parkwood Place location isn’t going anywhere.

“We believe the worst thing we can do is leave a community that has been good to us and leave the hauling out of the downtown. This is what we are seeing in the big cities in the United States like in San Francisco and Portland. Recently, we have made a commitment, evaluating all the aspects including the crime, that we are going to remain in downtown Prince George.”

“We will go to the end of the earth before we end up closing the store due to crime and security issues. But, I think it highlights how bad this issue has become and why we are urging all levels of government to act now before small, medium, and large businesses and frankly, customers and citizens will have to take these types of actions.”

The next closest London Drugs location is in Kamloops on 450 Landsdowne Street, a nearly six-hour drive.

He added in July, 20 arrests took place at the Parkwood location – 11 of the 20 apprehensions were on people they had repeated dealings with in the past – one of the most prolific members of that group had been arrested nine times by London Drugs.

Mahlman says there are currently no consequences or fear of being arrested in relation to the criminal acts performed by offenders that occur within retail stores.

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“The economic loss is one part of the picture. What we are most concerned about is the violence, vandalism, and vile behavior towards staff and customers.”

“People who commit crime and there is organized activity here and retail crime they know there is no accountability meaning there is no fear in being arrested.”

London Drugs has 78 stores across Western Canada including Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

The bulk of its operations are based out of the Greater Vancouver area.



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