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Package thefts

Online Purchases Beware of package thefts

The police officers of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) want to raise public awareness about the measures for ensuring secure delivery of their packages purchased over the Internet.

Online purchases are on the rise since the pandemic. Although home delivery involves several advantages, packages left on the doorstep are at risk of being stolen. As a general rule, thieves will target delivery trucks or residences where packages have just been delivered. The SPVM wishes to remind you of some prevention tips to ensure the security of your packages and your possible recourses in case of theft.


  • Opt for “delivery with signature” for delivery of your package. If you are absent, this means the package shouldn’t be left on your doorstep. N.B. Check if charges apply.
  • Have your package deposited in a chest or bin equipped with a padlock, with instructions to the delivery person to lock it.
  • Ask a neighbour to pick up your package if you think you will be absent at the time of delivery, or ask your neighbour if you can have it delivered to his home if he is staying at home.
  • Have your purchases delivered to you at work, if possible.
  • Ask to have your package delivered to a Canada Post safety deposit box. N.B. Charges are applicable.
  • Make sure your surveillance camera is working properly if you have one, or evaluate the option of having one installed to deter thieves.


Contact the Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC) or visit their website to find out your rights and remedies regarding your online purchases..[1] According to the OPC, “When you purchase online or by phone, if the contract provides for delivery of the goods, the merchant has the obligation to take the necessary measures so that you receive what you ordered. /…/ Otherwise, in case you don't find the package, which was left in a place where it was likely to be stolen, you could have the same recourse as if you had never received your order.”[2]

Chargeback request

According to the OPC, in the event the merchant neglected to honour certain obligations, “you might have a right to cancel the purchase. The merchant then could be obliged to refund you. If the merchant doesn’t do this within the deadline provided by law, you could request a chargeback, that is, a recall of the payment by the issuer of the credit card with which you paid for this transaction. This is why it's recommended that you use a credit card to pay for all remote purchases”[3]

However, it's important to check the deadlines applicable to your recourses.

[1] Source: https://www.opc.gouv.qc.ca/consommateur/sujet/achat/internet/
OPC website consulted 2020-07-08, at 3 p.m. (Translation)

[2] Source: https://www.opc.gouv.qc.ca/actualite/communiques/article/recours-colis-vole/
OPC website consulted 2020-07-08, at 3 p.m. (Translation)

[3] Source: https://www.opc.gouv.qc.ca/actualite/communiques/article/recours-colis-vole/
OPC website consulted 2020-07-08, at 3 p.m. (Translation)


To obtain information or make a complaint to the Office de la protection du consommateur, call 1-888-672-2556, Monday to Friday, or send a message in writing, whatever suits you.

In case of theft, you can also file a complaint with your local police department. To communicate with your neighbourhood police station (PDQ), call 514-280-01XX (XX corresponding to the number of your PDQ). For prevention tips, visit the SPVM website at the Find information page. For any emergency, call 911.

You can also report any criminal activity anonymously and confidentially to Info-Crime Montréal by dialling 514-393-1133 or through their website at www.infocrimemontreal.ca.