Two tourists from the United States are demanding answers after they say their car was stolen while on a visit to Montreal last weekend.
The couple, Cynthia Hajal and Christian Adib, who arrived in Montreal from Boston last Friday say they checked into the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, part of the Marriot chain.
“The only parking option at the hotel was to give our car to the valet parking,” explained Hajal.
According to her, when they went to the front desk the following morning to pick up the black 2023 Toyota Highlander XLE, they got the bad news.
“The manager of the … Montreal Renaissance hotel told us that our car was stolen,” Hajal told Global News.
She said they reported the theft to police but complained that the cops did not act quickly enough. Thanks to a tracking device on the vehicle, the couple said they located it at a parking lot for an apartment building in Outremont. When they found the car they called police.
“A police officer came and they were like wearing gloves and everything and trying not to touch the car too much,” Hajal recalled.
Police still have the car because the case is still under investigation, she added, pointing out that a friend had to drive from Boston to pick them up and take them home.
According to Hajal, when they asked the hotel to compensate them for expenses incurred because of the theft they were told to contact the hotel’s insurance company.
Adib says they can’t understand how is it that their car that was entrusted to the hotel was stolen from what they believed was a secure location.
“It was a gated parking garage, with security cameras with supposedly someone who is there 24-7,” he pointed out.
Montreal police say they can’t comment on specific investigations, but in their 2022 activity report they say vehicle theft has surged.
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‘Theft for resale on foreign markets has therefore become a much more attractive business for criminal networks,” Montreal police Insp. David Sgane told reporters at a press conference in early June.
In an email to Global News Tuesday, police say car thefts have increased so far in 2023.
“For the period from January 1, 2022 to March 31, 2022, 1,866 vehicles were reported stolen on the territory of the Montreal agglomeration compared to 2,727 for the same period this year,” it reads.
The couple from Boston haven’t decided if they’ll take legal action.
Global News reached out to the hotel and Marriot International but did not hear back.
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