A Montrealer had to wait 53 days to get his stolen SUV back after it was found in a container at the Port of Montreal less than 36 hours after the theft.
“I wanted to receive it sooner, we know where it is! But no. It took so long, especially since it was the summer when I needed it the most,” Elizabeth Levesque said today, still angry.
Last May, the young woman was one of thousands of victims of car theft in Quebec, though her SUV was narrowly intercepted before it was sent abroad.
A significant portion of the stolen vehicles were illegally exported from Montreal to Africa or the Middle East, under the nose of the Canadian Border Services Agency (see other text).
A real headache
Elizabeth Levesque’s setback in recovering her KIA Sportage on Quebec soil brings back bad memories for anyone who has had to deal with the aftermath of such a theft recently.
“It’s like we don’t know how to handle a stolen car and it doesn’t matter to anyone but the driver,” she said, drawing on her experience and that of those around her.
Thanks to the TAG tracking system, Mme Levesque was notified two days later that her vehicle, stolen from a residential street in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, had returned to the Port of Montreal.
The 30-year-old also received a photo and the container number of her SUV, bought second-hand to go outdoors in remote areas.
Elizabeth Levesque’s SUV was quickly spotted in this burgundy container at the Port of Montreal.
“The port is so close to my house that I can walk and pick it up,” she exclaims.
Despite everything, she had to wait more than seven weeks before finding herself behind the wheel of her car – which she found hard to believe.
This would involve, among other things, the vehicle border services, the Port of Montreal, the Équité Association, investigations on behalf of insurers, the police department of the City of Montreal and Pounds.
Freddy Marcantonio, vice-president of Repérage TAG, is not surprised by the delays.
After finding more than 2,000 vehicles, he noticed that the stolen cars that had the misfortune of passing through the port gates were the longest and most complicated to recover.
Conversely, if it’s found anywhere in town, “TAG calls the police and the next day, the customer can get it back,” he notes.