Local grocer owner of FoodFare Munther Zeid is tired of non-confrontation policies with thieves. They have been getting more brazen over the past year leading to higher costs and increased danger for customers and staff. The City of Winnipeg Police Service & the province have been unable to stem the violence, drugs, and crimes being committed throughout the city.
A new “baseball bat policy” has been put into place in FoodFare. There are several bats placed strategically throughout his store. When theft is in progress, Zeid, his son, his nephew, and or other staff will grab a bat and meet the thief at the entrance of the store.
“Nine times out of 10, 99% of the time when we stop the person, we go ‘Stuff please,’ they unload their pockets, no questions asked and they leave with no type of confrontation,” he said. “If they refuse, then the choice becomes to break an arm or a leg.”
Winnipeg Police have advised citizens to not engage with robbers because the situation could turn violent. In a town-hall, held by the citizen watch group “204” after the home invasion which led to the death of Jaime Adao in March of 2019, the Police advised that protecting yourself in self-defence is permitted. The use of force must be proportional to the offence and danger posed. If too much force is used, the justice system could find not only the thief guilty of a crime but the citizen defending their property guilty as well.
Two recent court cases in Alberta and Saskatchewan have led to changes in the justice system, the Criminal Code which has impacted Jury selection and use of force by citizens defending persons and property.