CALGARY -- Building off the success of the project in Edmonton, the Calgary Police Service and a liquor retailer have partnered on a program designed to thwart liquor store robberies and alcohol theft.

Beginning Thursday, customers at the ACE Liquor locations in the Trans-Canada Mall (1440 52nd St.N.E.) and Crossroads (2148 18th Ave.N.E.) will be required to scan their government-issued identification before entering.

The Patronscan system, which was adopted by select liquor stores in Edmonton last year, will not allow customers into the stores unless they scan one of the following forms of ID:

  • Driver's licence;
  • Alberta identification card;
  • Passport;
  • Military identification card; or
  • Status card

Alcanna Inc., the liquor retailer that owns all four participating Calgary stores as well as the Edmonton locations where Patronscan has been installed, says there was a drastic decrease in thefts and robberies at its Edmonton stores.

Between January 2020 and January 2021, the stores in Edmonton with the system in place saw no robberies and a 94 per cent decline in product theft.

"The Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police has called for a province-wide requirement of controlled entrances for all liquor stores," said Tank Vander, Alcanna president, in a statement. "We are confident that this partnership with the Calgary Police Service to introduce controlled entrances in Calgary will show the same drastic reduction in thefts and robberies as our pilot program in Edmonton has demonstrated."

The Calgary Police Service welcomes the program that is expected to improve safety for liquor store employees.

"The main concern we have is around the increased threats towards staff and customers that occur during these types of violent events," said Sgt. Nick Wilsher of the CPS crime prevention team. "We know that other cities and provinces have seen a sharp decline in thefts and robberies following the use of systems such as Patronscan."

The Patronscan system is scheduled to be launched at the Liquor Depot locations in Montogomery (5032 16th Ave. N.W.) and North Hill (1632 14th Ave. N.W.) in mid-May.