Montreal pickpockets lift couple's wallets in brazen theft

Two men act as though they're about to sit down at a restaurant, but instead they make off with two wallets from a purse at the next table.

Stolen credit card used to buy about $2,000 worth of goods at Ogilvy, 2 laptops at Apple Store

Surveillance video captures Montreal pickpocket

7 years ago
Duration 0:59
A video captures two men in the act as they slip into a St-Denis Street restaurant and make off with two wallets.

It wasn't until Alain Simard went to pay the bill that he noticed his wallet was missing.

He'd been enjoying dinner out with his girlfriend and her son at a restaurant on St-Denis Street in Montreal, on Friday, March 4.

Simard said he'd asked his girlfriend to keep his wallet in her purse, but when she reached in to grab it to pay, both wallets were missing. 

​"I didn't see anything," he said, adding the thieves must have been pros.

He said his girlfriend had left her purse hanging on her chair next to her, but the culprits managed to reach inside without anyone noticing.

When the couple explained to the restaurant owner that their wallets were missing, he immediately reviewed the surveillance tape. 

The whole thing was captured on video — two men, one wearing a baseball cap and the other wearing a newsboy's cap, walk into the restaurant and act as though they're about to sit down at a table next to the family. 

No one in the restaurant notices as one of the men reaches through his winter coat sleeve, into the woman's purse. The other man stands next to the table, blocking part of the view.

The whole process didn't take longer than a minute.

Simard said they were left unable to pay for dinner, but fortunately the restaurant owner was understanding.

Thieves go on spending spree

The time-stamp on the video shows the thieves walked out with the wallets at 8:20 p.m. ET.

Simard said his credit card company told him that 21 minutes later, at 8:41 p.m., about $2,000 was spent on his card at Ogilvy, a high-end clothing store. At 8:51 p.m., two laptops were purchased with his card at the Apple Store.

Simard said he's not on the hook to pay for the goods, and he's been able to replace most of what was in his wallet.

As for his girlfriend's wallet, it turned up the next day untouched, he said. A homeless person who found it brought it to the police station with everything still inside, including her credit card.

Simard thinks the thieves used his card instead because it had a higher spending limit. 

Warning public to be cautious

The video, posted by Simard's brother-in-law, has received more than one million views on Facebook and thousands of shares. 

Simard hopes other people can learn from his bad experience.

Montreal police said they are investigating the case, but so far they haven't made any arrests.

Const. Caroline Chevrefils said the pickpocketing technique shown in the video is nothing new, and thieves have been using the trick for years.