Before I started my researches on pickpockets, I had no idea of the extent of the phenomenon. Quite frankly, I believed it was a problem overseas, in foreign countries. I was shocked (and thrilled) to discover pickpockets so close, right here in Montreal.
As a matter of fact, it seems there is actually an epidemic of pickpockets on the Plateau-Mont-Royal, according to these two french articles I found on Montreal Campus and Canoe. In February, police officers from PDQ 38 listed 43 thefts, more than one theft per day. And that doesn't include those who think they "lost" their wallet and didn't report it.
Police and bar managers work together toward a prevention system. At the restaurant Le Reservoir, waiters can occasionnaly warn customers to pay attention to their bags. On the tables, there are warning cards : "Due to a pickpocket epidemic on the Plateau, please be very careful with your wallets and valuables." My next mission is to get one of those cards.
I must say I was excited when I read those articles. Not that I like the idea of being surrounded by thieves... but it made me realize that it's not fictionnal. It doesn't only happen in movies. There really is a problematic, and I'm happy to be able to sensibilise people about it. Next time you're going out, stay alert and remember that you don't need to go to Rome to meet pickpockets.