Quote Originally Posted by accozzaglia View Post
Worse, having learnt a little more about état civil, the distinct system of Québec law, even if I had seen the perp(s) and chased them down, my laying a hand on them, even as they'd have my bag in their hand, could have me apprehended for "assault". In the case of one story in the five aforementioned, this actually happened to one woman who chased after her thief.... At once, I feel both vulnerable and disallowed to defend myself (unless it's my body under attack, and even then, I don't know to what extent I'm "allowed" to fight back).
As much as Quebec loves feeling separate from the rest of the country, they are still part of Canada for the time being, and so the federal (i.e. common law) criminal code is applicable there; Quebec's civil code does not deal with criminal law. Namely, it seems to me that sec. 494 would allow you to make a citizen's arrest (and presumably use reasonable restraints against a criminal) if you:

a) made the arrest at the time of the theft. Failure to do this is why the guy in Kensington market (?) was charged for tying up a guy who had shoplifted from his store a few weeks ago - the shopkeeper nabbed him hours later when he re-entered the store, and

b) delivered the person to the police asap.

Obligatory disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and suggest that you conduct your own research into your rights. Remember, the Criminal Code of Canada is the law of the land, including in la belle province.

Sorry to hear about the theft of what sound like some of your most precious belongings. If it's any consolation, I believe that the McGill library rents out laptop locks... Also, if urban planning falls under the faculty of architecture, then I believe that you have access to their darkroom facilities (which few seem to know about), reportedly much better than the one operated by the photo club, and possibly with 24hr. access to boot... good luck!