Coachella Pickpocketer ID'd Thanks to 'Find My Phone': PD - NBC New York

Coachella Pickpocketer ID'd Thanks to 'Find My Phone': PD

The crime spree was discovered when several people noticed their phones were missing and activated the "Find My Phone" feature, police said

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    Indio, California, police arrested a man with over 100 cell phones in his backpack. The suspect was arrested when victims used the "find my phone" app to located the missing phones. (Published Monday, April 17, 2017)

    A New York man was arrested at Coachella Friday with more than 100 cell phones in his backpack, Indio police said.

    Reinaldo De Jesus Henao, 36, faces grand theft and possession of stolen property charges. Officers say Henao was walking through the crowded California music festival picking pockets.

    The crime spree was discovered when several people noticed their phones were missing and activated the “Find My Phone” feature, police said. Those signals led the victims to Henao.

    Security guards detained him and when Indio police arrived they found more than 100 phones in Henao’s backpack, according to police. Some of the phones were returned to the victims that day or the next.

    Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella

    Dan Marshall with Indio police said most of the phones were taken from concert-goers near the Sahara Tent and they seemed to be a mix of Apple and Android devices. He wasn't sure whether customers had used the iPhone or Android version of the "Find Your Phone" app. The common thread was that many of the stolen phones were "phablets," phones with big screens, he said. 

    Jail records did not list an attorney for Henao who could speak to the accusations.

    Between 90,000 and 125,000 people were expected to attend the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival over two weekends this year, with Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar among the dozens of bands playing.

    If you're still missing your phone, check in with the festival's Lost and Found or call Indio police at (760) 541-4291.

    Marshall said that the festival had reconnected hundreds of lost phones to patrons, well beyond the number that were stolen.