11/15/2013 09:42 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:56 EST

Montreal city workers stole $238K from parking meters

More than $238,000 in parking meter revenue was stolen by city workers, says Stationnement de Montréal.

“We caught two workers with their hand in the pot,” says Pierre Lalumière, communications director of the city’s parking authority.

An article published in Friday’s Journal de Montréal newspaper alleged that up to $500,000 had been swiped from the city’s parking meters by employees over the past few years.

Stationnement de Montréal admits it has had problems with employees with sticky fingers in the past.

Lalumière says they launched an internal investigation last January looking into money that was disappearing from parking meters.

“We had doubts, so we installed a couple of systems to ensure the doubts were founded,” he says.

“It was mostly taken in small amounts so it was very difficult to trace it,” he continues.

Stationnement de Montréal also tailed some of their workers with Garda security trucks. Some employees reportedly went on stress leave as a result.

“Once Garda was following them, they felt some stress, I guess,” Lalumière says. “I’m not a doctor. I can’t tell you why they were stressed.”

Montreal police are currently investigating another matter involving card cloning devices installed on certain parking machines, but Lalumière says Stationnement de Montréal employees were not involved in that.