Woman 'frustrated' with police response after laptop, iPad theft at Toronto cafe
Gulay Kilicaslan says thief pulled electronics out of her bag on floor at Annex cafe
A Toronto woman says she is "really frustrated" with the reaction of police after her laptop and iPad were stolen from under a chair at an Annex neighbourhood cafe on the weekend.
The theft at Future Bistro, 483 Bloor St. W., near Bathurst Street, was caught on security camera video. The thieves are still at large. According to the timestamp on the video, the incident occurred at about 6:40 p.m. on Saturday.
Gulay Kilicaslan said she reported the crime to Toronto police that night, by calling and by going in person to 52 Division, but was told to fill out an online form and wait for a response. She is still waiting.
Toronto police, for their part, say anything reported will be investigated.
'We have all the evidence'
"It's been three days," Kilicaslan told CBC Toronto on Monday.
"We have everything. We have all the evidence. They should follow up. I'm really disappointed with the reaction and why they don't really care about the situation. I'm really frustrated with the whole situation."
Kilicaslan said this is the second time in a year that she has had a laptop stolen and she alleged that the police did not follow up the last time either.
A 41-second video that she posted to Facebook shows an older man put on a hat and scarf and leave a table at the cafe. A woman then sits down at the table. Across from her, a man already seated reaches down and pulls a black bag on the floor toward him. He then appears to unzip the bag.
The man pulls a white object out of the bag and hands it to the woman. She slowly gets up and walks away with the object. Shortly afterward, the man looks around, then leaves too.
Kilicaslan said she was at the cafe having dinner with friends when the items were stolen.
According to Kilicaslan, the thieves look professional and organized and one stood at the door while the other two committed the crime. She said she felt targeted. She said she thinks the theft occurred within minutes.
"You never feel that something will happen while you are having your dinner," she said.
Toronto police said they cannot say how long it will take for officers to follow up on an online report.
Const. Mark McCabe, spokesperson for Toronto police, said he cannot speak for the case, but thinks it will be investigated "quite quickly" because the footage, which shows the faces of the culprits clearly, will help police.
McCabe said he found the video "quite shocking." Thieves will use a busy restaurant to their advantage, he added.
"Anything reported is actively investigated," he said.
Keep personal items close, police say
"There is an advantage to reporting online that you don't have to wait for officers to attend. As you know, these days, the city is extremely busy. Rather than sit at home or sit at a station for hours on end, it's at your convenience if you want to make a simple report."
McCabe said people need to keep their personal items close by them at all times, although they do not need to be paranoid. He said people report thefts every day, but they do not always have video.
"You want to be one step ahead. You want to be aware of your surroundings at all times. It's very easy to let your guard down," he said.
"Don't leave personal items lying around on the floor."
McCabe also discouraged victims of crime from uploading video online because it could tip the thieves off.
Kilicaslan said she understands it's important to keep belongings close but it's hard to believe that they would have to be in your lap at all times. She said the cafe owners need to take some responsibility as well.
She said she put the video on Facebook because she thought: "I need to do something."
With files from Alison Chiasson, Muriel Draaisma