Phones Stolen at Escape Music Festival Recovered by Pair of Friends

After 92 cell phones were stolen at Escape Music Festival, a pair of friends are able to locate the stolen phones by using an iPhone feature.

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Downey Police recovered nearly 100 cell phones, all believed to have been stolen from the same event this weekend.

Dozens of people came to Downey to recover stolen phones Tuesday. They were all pick-pocketed Friday night, and many believed they’d never see their phone again, but thanks to some detective work from a pair of friends, a lot of people have their phones back.

It all started at the Escape Music Festival in San Bernardino on Friday night.

"A lot of people come for the music and a lot of people come to just enjoy themselves," said Amir Anderson, whose friend had his phone stolen. "He literally just had it as he was walking out and he’s like, 'I can’t find it.'"

Anderson then had his friend us the "Find My" feature on the iPhone, where they constantly shared their location with each other. That's when they noticed his friend's missing cell phone was on the move and decided to follow it.

"So we head down the 10, they took the 605, from the 605 to the 5, and they got off on Norwalk," he explained.

After driving 60 miles, they ended up in Downey and noticed the phone was no longer moving, so they called the police.

"We let the operator know the location is staying still now, we think they got out and got in the house. We don’t see the car, but the phone is refreshing and saying it’s here," recalled Anderson.

Once the officers arrived they made a discovery, according to Anderson.

"She walked back to the grass, and they both moved the flowers and picked up two big trash bags filled with phones," Anderson said.

The officer found 92 cell phones, including Amir's friend's, in the two big garbage bags.

On Tuesday, dozens of people packed a lobby at Downey Police Department, trying to recover their phones after each one of them was pick-pocketed on Friday night in San Bernardino.

"Somebody definitely pick-pocketed me, because I remember having it before I walked into the event," said Dereck Nguyen, one of the victims of the theft.

"We’re in a crowd, so I thought they were trying to weave their way through. I didn’t think somebody was pick-pocketing me," recalled another victim of the Friday night theft, Adriana Zepeda.

Shelley Quash and her friend were both victims of the theft.

"She was like, 'Oh hey, why is your fanny pack open?' and then she was like, 'Ok, phone check,' and then we were looking through our bag and it was just gone," she said.

But now, thanks to technology and a persistent pick-pocket victim, dozens of people have their phones back.

"A lot of people were congratulating me, a lot were thanking, some people were messaging me and said that their phone was there, so it feels good to have helped a whole bunch of people," said Anderson.

Downey Police did not make an arrest. In fact, since the pick-pocketing happened in San Bernardino, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office will take over the investigation.

If you had your phone stolen police suggest going to the Downey Police Department to recover it or file a police report with the San Bernardino Police Department.

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