Los Angeles

100 Phones Found in Theft Suspect's Backpack at Coachella Festival

Owners activated the "Find My Phone" feature to track down the theft suspect at Empire Polo Club

A 36-year-old New York man was arrested Friday after allegedly stealing more than 100 cellphones at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in the desert east of Los Angeles.

Many people who noticed their phones were missing activated the "Find My Phone" feature, allowing them to follow the suspect through the Empire Polo Club in Indio. The suspect was detained by security guards, then arrested by police on suspicion of grand theft and possession of stolen property.

More than 100 phones were found in his backpack, police said.

The suspect was identified as Reinaldo De Jesus Heano. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.

Some phone were returned to owners Friday night. The other were left at a lost-and-found site.

Police had some suggestions for festival visitors:

  • Place wallets/phones in your front pocket instead of the back
  • Wrap and elastic band around the phone to prevent it from easily sliding out of the pocket
  • Consider a dummy wallet/phone. Most thieves won't look twice if they think they already have something
  • Don't keep all your valuables in one place

The second weekend of music at Coachella begins Friday.

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