Private liquor sales and teen shoplifting just do not mix in WA state

Since private stores started selling hard liquor in June, at least 20 teenagers have been charged with stealing spirits from Thurston County grocery stores, a number juvenile prosecutor Wayne Graham calls only “the tip of the iceberg” and an indication of a larger problem.

After passage of Initiative 1183 — which eliminated state-run liquor stores and allowed private liquor sales across Washington — local chains and big-box retailers have made liquor too accessible to would-be juvenile shoplifters, Graham said.

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