Jun 10, 2012

Getting robbed in Canada, What I Learned & Advice

Some background info:
16 yr old New Yorker, attending family business in Vancouver over the Memorial Day weekend. (To sum it up, we got robbed, they stole our passports, and due to holiday/communication problems we were stranded in Canada for 3 days) and as I write this, I'm regretting it cuz I feel frustrated all over again.

What happened:
Around 4pm, my family and I parked our car in the underground parking lot (14D yellow area) of Metrotown mall in Burnaby. We came back at 6pm, opened our trunk and our most valuable possessions were gone. 3 cameras, pictures we will never get back, 1 iPod, 1 netbook, passports, A LOT of USD, credit cards and a lot of legal papers. Total monetary value adds up to $5,000. Not only did we lose so much money, but more importantly, our identity was stolen. DOB, address, email, passwords, bank accounts, social security number which is on your passport, credit cards which is linked to a business, driver license. You name it. You could use that to create more credit cards, take loans, sell information, create fake identities, etc.

What we did right after:
1) Obviously we were in shock.
2) Immediately went to the mall service center, called security, reported the robbery. They tried to look at security camera footage but we were parked in an area with none. (Part of the fact was because we like to park in areas where no cars are around so it doesn't get damaged. and the mall is HUGE it's one of those supermalls)
3) Called the police. They told us to go to the police station on Deer Park Drive
4) Arrived, reported the robbery. BUT they could not file the report without passports since we are out of the country. and we didnt have them because they were stolen! so they told us to go to the US Consulate in Downtown Vancouver
5) Next morning, went to US Consulate. Its Memorial Day (Monday) so it wasnt open.
6) Called multiple times to their emergency number. They said come in the next morning
7) The next morning (Tuesday), we waited about 1 hour, went through security, checked in our phones (the only valuables we had left, and also you weren't allowed to bring them up there) and when we got up there (it was a tall building) they gave us papers to fill out to make a temporary passport
8) After waiting and waiting, we finally got them. BUT they wouldn't give us our old passport numbers, and so the Vancouver police wouldn't file a report -_-