Cambridge Target Locks Away Alcohol After Spike In Shoplifting

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Target in Cambridge's Central Square is locking up its alcohol aisle after a recent spike in shoplifting.

A locked gate now blocks the aisle and if customers want to purchase anything from the aisle an employee will need to unlock the gate and retrieve the item for the customer, before walking it back to the register.

"It says something about our society doesn't it," one customer said. "It's really kind of sad."

As of this week, there have been 178 shoplifting incidents at the Central Square Target this year, 66 of which involved alcohol, according to Cambridge Police. In 2022, there were 63 cases of shoplifting and 27 with alcohol while in 2021 there were only 26 incidents with six involving alcohol.

"Cambridge Department has strong relationships with businesses across the city and we regularly tackle potential issues like shoplifting," Cambridge Police said in a statement. "Through our open communications with Target, we have been actively working on a solution to address the number of shoplifting incidents. It appears right now some of the businesses recent changes are helping curtail the number of incidents."

Customers said they're seeing more and more items put behind locks now.

"I had to ask to get a toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouth wash," one customer said.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasMMJ) reports.

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