‘Take away the temptation’: Winnipeg bakery goes cashless to combat rash of thefts

A Winnipeg business is making sure thieves don’t walk off with their cash again by not having any on-site.

Cinnaholic, a McPhillips Street bakery has decided to go cashless after a string of robberies.

The latest happened over the weekend – the fifth incident it’s faced in two years.

The most recent robbery saw the thief make off with the cash register.

“At that point in time, our staff became very frightened and scared and ran, exiting through the back door because they’re really concerned about their safety,” said Cinnaholic owner Colin Finlay.

He says he’s done what he can to maintain a safe environment, adding shatterproof glass, security cameras, and a panic button for staff.

But he says he can’t control crime or the response from police when he called to report this latest incident.

“I was told, ‘we’ll get someone out to you if we’re not too busy.’”

Cinnaholic owner Colin Finlay is pictured during a May 29, 2024 interview. (Jon Hendricks/CTV News Winnipeg)

CTV News Winnipeg asked the Winnipeg Police Service for details on the response the store got after calling for help.

A spokesperson said they would not be able to accommodate an interview, as they had to review the entirety of the call.

Meantime, Finlay said two officers came to the area on a meal break, and he said he had to flag them down.

Even though they weren’t there to investigate the theft, Finlay said the officers gave up part of their time, collected evidence, and took their statements.

Security concerns frustrating for businesses: retail council

John Graham with the Retail Council of Canada says small and large businesses are increasingly having to deal with daily safety and security issues.

“It’s frustrating for businesses,” he said.

While shoplifting is costly, he says it’s the violence that’s the most pressing concern to many retailers.

“Ten per cent of the individuals are causing 50 per cent of the incidents. There are prolific offenders who continue to go into stores and see it as a lucrative way to earn money.”

Those people won’t be able to get money that way from Cinnaholic anymore.

“The only thing left is to take away the temptation, and that is making sure that people are aware we don’t even keep cash. We don’t take it at all.”

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