If you’ve ever been to a festival, you’ll know that losing your cell phone during the event is often a concern. At Coachella, the problem seemed to be reaching epidemic proportions over the weekend. But revelers weren’t losing their devices; they were being stolen – more than 130 of them.
According to an Indio Police Department statement, the suspect was 36-year-old Reinaldo De Jesus Henao, who was arrested on suspicion of grand theft and possession of stolen property. He was tracked down by festival goers who used the “find my iPhone” feature to pinpoint his location.
“I noticed some chatter on social media about phones disappearing on Reddit,” Indio Police Sergeant Dan Marshall told Gizmodo. “One of the common threads [among Reddit posters] was that they were all losing their phones at the Sahara tent.”
“A bunch of people activated their ‘find my phone’ and pointed at, ‘Hey, it’s that guy, my phone, my dot, it’s moving with that guy,’” added Marshall.
Festival security guards detained Henao and handed him over to the police, who found over 130 smartphones in his backpack. Most of them have now been returned to their owners, while the rest are at the event’s lost and found section.
Whether Henao traveled to the festival with the sole intention of stealing the phones is unclear, though going on stealing spree doesn’t seem like something you’d do on an impulse. He was released on $10,000 bail yesterday and ordered to appear before a Riverside County judge on May 26.
Remember, if you’re going to a festival and are worried about your expensive smartphone, the best option is to take a cheap burner phone that won’t leave you $500 - $800 out of pocket should it go missing.