Here is my tip for single women on business who take time out for shopping in Montreal.
Watch out for pickpockets in Montreal. It is rife with them. You are better off avoid shopping.
GET the VIDEO if you are pickpocketed in a store.
I lived in Montreal for decades and nothing was ever stolen. it never happened.
I went shopping alone today.
But today, my wallet got stolen in a store, in broad daylight. There were about 3-4 customers and the store made no effort to do anything about it.
They never suggested video..so I say GET THE VIDEO...even if you are not sure about it being stolen or lost.
These pickpockets in Montreal are bold..
My purse was slung across my chest. The purse had a zipper on the top.
The pickpockets probably came up to me while I was lost in browsing of Tshirts..and the zipper was opened and my wallet was stolen.
All my credit cards and ID cards were stolen. I had no money.
I was shopping in a downtown store for plus sizes Additionelle +14 on 724 Ste-Catherine Street as they have some Joseph Ribkoff there, who is a good designer but expensive.
I put down my purse in order to try something on..when I noticed a suspicious man sitting within reaching distance.
It was a ladies' store and I thought it was odd that he was sitting there right by the mirror and he seemed to be with a woman and a young girl.
All this around 3pm and Monday, and we seemed to be the only ones in that section of the store.
I verified that my purse was zipped because he seemed suspicious to me.and I thought he was sitting too close to where I had to try on clothes. The sales lady seemed oblivious to him.
I was relieved all was well, my purse was closed and had a of security. In fact I was happy that everything was fine...WRONG...it was a false sense of security
I guess he did nothing then, as the saleslady was there.
But when I moved off to where I was alone, he or his accomplices made their move.
Then 3 minutes after that verification of my purse, I felt a lightness and the zipper was open! I reported it to the saleslady. I told her that I thought the man who had been sitting there was strange..but he was gone by then.
But I was so upset that I could not remember when I had last seen the wallet...
or if the wallet was lost and stolen.
I retraced my steps, giving my name and phone number to all the stores I had stopped at, then returned to that store and asked if anyone had turned in a wallet.
I had been bumped in the street but I knew it was not them since the wallet was checked alright at the store later.
There is a LOT of street bumping in Montreal and they tell me this could be pickpockets too.
Bottom line, don't trust anyone in shopping downtown Ste-Catherine.
I knew when I had last used my card and I knew when I discovered it missing, so it was not the bumpers.
It was not until I filed a police report and was calmer, that I remembered that incident of the suspicious man and remembered 3 minutes later it was stolen.
So someone had opened the zipper and taken the wallet.
The store was pretty deserted and I knew the time, so I thought the video should detect if anyone came near me.
I am going back to the store to see if they have video.
Of course I am interested in recovery of the cards in the wallet.
I want to see if they threw it somewhere as there was nothing that they could use..the credit card was stopped and there was no cash. The wallet was leather but old.
I think Montreal is unsafe for anyone carrying credit cards or cash. This begs the question how in the world do you shop?
As for the police, they had no interest in recovery or finding out what happened.
They just left it to me to go back to the store and inquire myself.
I looked for police up and down the street to report it but I could not see a single uniformed officer. So no police to patrol Ste-Catherine, the main shopping street that day.
The sales people in the store took my name and number and that was the extent of their effort.
It tooke me many hours before I pinpointed the exact time and location of the theft.
I was the one who thought of video as I reconstructed the sequence of events..they could just look at a 10 minute interval in a specific part of the store
The police were skeptical and said the video would not be clear. I don't even know if they had video.
So if you do get your wallet stolen in Montreal, don't expect any of the sales people to make an effort to find it....and the police will take the report but they know the recovery is zero..and since the damages are inconvience mostly they don't undertake an investigation.
So the pickpockets are immune to video and police surveillance. I think the attitude in Montreal to pickpockets has no prevention or follow-up.
It is up to the victim to figure out what happened, and try to investigate.
You won't get any help, so prepare to do your own detective work.
Sure I stopped the credit card..but it will be 10 days before I get it back. Sure I have money, but it is not the money I want to access.
I think a good business/shopping destination is one which cares about EVERY incident of pickpocketing..because I can tell you that shopping in Montreal now is OVER.
I won't plan to shop in Montreal ever again.
Doesn't anyone get it?
To the business traveller INCONVENIENCE is a big deal, it is EVERYTHING.
After all, you are on making this journey on business and any inconvenience that restricts or limits your plans ruins the purpose of your trip.
If you are visting a sewer of thieves and stores which don't care..and police who just do not have the time to investigate these unimportant cases..where there won't be recovery or arrest..why bother?
There are safer shopping places in the world..or just avoid shopping in Montreal if you are there on business.
I think that waiting for credit cards to come..in 10 days..means your activities are restricted and in some cases curtailed..so you are wasting your time, and your enjoyment of the trip is diminished....and then getting all the ID replaced is a big task..
My tip is this: I would avoid carrying anything of value you would hate to lose on Ste-Catherine Street in a purse. I don't know how you will shop..but it is a HUGE RISK.
Slinging your purse across your body will not deter pickpockets who just unzip with nimble fingers.
If you think someone looks suspicious, trust your instincts, and then check...even if you check then do not let down your guard until you make a surveillance of their whereabouts.
In Montreal, pickpocket cases get short shrift.
Only one store made any real effort to help find out what happened...that was a store with a security guard..Ogilvy's...
But if the store where it happened had a security guard, they did not indicate it.
As for the police...in a pickpocket case, with no damages, no recovery and just an ''inconvenience'' for the victim, they will leave it up to you...you are on your own to solve it. The police report becomes a formality only.
Really the police just told me go to the store yourself, and make inquiries and get the video.
As for video, I am surprised the store did not mention it to me..or the police either
They never thought of it..it was my idea.
So first thing to do..if pickpocketed in Montreal in a store..GET THE VIDEO..
even if you are not sure what happened lost/stolen, what time or where..get the video.
I want the video not to catch the criminals, because they are long gone..but to see what they did with the wallet and its contents..on the chance that they threw it somewhere.
So this nightmare is not over for me. Tomorrow is the long slog to get everything replaced, continue my investigation by going back to the store..and not being able to do as I planned while waiting for my card.
Bummer for the business travelling combining business with shopping destination: Montreal pickpocket central. Take unusual precautions or prepare to have your trip ruined.
As in any major urban centre...you should be careful about your wallet. Although nothing has ever happened to me..I have heard of pickpockets in the metro system. Please remember, this is a safe city and there are no areas to avoid but use your common sense and you will be A-OK.