KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Police are busting liquor stores selling to minors, and invited FOX 4 along to see what they’re doing. KCK police and under aged buyers have spent the last several weeks on this undercover sting and even police say they are shocked about the results.
One of the first stops of the day, the under-aged buyer was successful.
“I put it on the counter, he looked at me and asked if I wanted a receipt and I said yes,” the buyer said. We’re hiding her identity since this sting operation isn’t over yet.
Here’s how it works: the minor volunteers go into the store to make a buy, if they’re asked for ID they produce their valid state ID showing they’re under-age. If they make the buy, police move in to ticket the clerk.
“Unfortunately juveniles are getting access to alcohol and we’re wondering how and where it came from,” Captain Victor Webb said, “We want to remind our stores that this is against the law. They should already know that but in this sting we identified several businesses that violated that law.”
This whole operation was made possible because of a grant from the Regional Prevention Center/Mirror Inc. Donna Criss works for the agency and has been along on many of the stings, and she was shocked by the results.
She said in the first round of undercover buys, out of 61 stores, 25 sold to minors. Now police are going back for round two and discovering a handful of stores that sold to minors the first time are still doing it.
“It’s real important we let the community know our youth are out here and we have to have responsible retailers and a responsible community to make sure they’re not doing things that are illegal,” Criss said, “And they couldn’t do it if it wasn’t for adults allowing that type of thing.”
Even the buyer said she’s surprised how easy it was for her to buy.
“Yesterday a lady looked at my ID and said ‘okay’ rang me up gave me my receipt and I walked out the store,” she said.
She hopes the message is getting through to businesses:
“Don’t sell something to someone else’s kid that you wouldn’t want sold to yours. You don’t want to know someone is selling your kid alcohol when they’re not old enough,” the buyer said.
“Every time ask for ID. When in doubt pull it out. Ask for the ID and look at it do the math,” Criss said, “better safe than sorry.”
If a store does sell to minors, only the clerk gets ticketed. But police said once the results of its entire operation are ready, it will be forwarded to the state’s liquor control agency and some of the repeat offenders could face more harsh penalties.