Store owners were prepared for this when the new liquor sale laws went into effect this spring,  but it seems to be a growing problem.

Stores in larger Washington cities, especially Seattle, have seen an uptick in shoplifting of hard alcohol.   One Thriftway in Seattle has invested thousands in new security cameras,  and other stores have had to lock up the more expensive liquor.   Patrons must now request help in obtaining it from an employee.     Stores are seeing the thefts mostly among younger people, especially those just under legal drinking age.

  According to many store owners, Patron seems to be a popular item taken.  Several shoplifters caught in Olympia told authorities they were stealing it so they could sell it to other teenagers.  Police are not sure if it's just a byproduct of the new laws, or if it's a general issue tied to the rise in teenage drinking.   However, many officials believe that once shoplifters discover it's just too hard to steal the alcohol, then the trend will subside.   It is estimated the number of alcohol shoplifters caught due to increased store security will deter others from trying.