Bremerton Police Detective Sgt. Kevin Crane believes part of the increase has to do with the size of grocery stores. The state-owned liquor stores operated before Initiative 1183's passing were small and insular, where employees could see all corners of the establishment and often outnumbered patrons in the store.
Grocery stores, by contrast, have aisle after aisle of capacity and can accommodate many more customers than they have employees working, Crane said, making opportunities for thefts — which he says have substantially increased in the area — more prevalent.
Legal liabilities could be a contributing factor to the thefts as well. While each store maintains its own anti-theft, or "loss prevention" practices, some are more restrictive than others, Marti said, due in part to concerns stores could be held liable in court following confrontations with shoplifters.