Coachella attendees discovered the thief – who’d stolen more than 100 mobile phones – by using the ‘Find My iPhone’ app

Stealing phones in Coachella is a bit like stealing helmets at a bikers convention: it won’t take them long to figure out what you did

Imeh Akpanudosen / Getty Images

‘(We were) taking pictures, then we went to post the photo and my phone was gone,’ said Laura Hunt Little, one of the over 100 Coachella attendees who had their mobile phone stolen by the thief.

Like Little, many of the victims used Apple’s ‘Find My iPhone’ app which enabled them to discover exactly where their phones were. ‘People who lost their phones, or had them stolen, were tracking it,’ said Little.

Dozens of festival goers ended up converging on the same spot: Reinaldo De Jesús Henao, a 36 year-old New Yorker who was promptly detained by festival security.

Rich Fury / Getty Images

When officers from the Indio Police Department arrived, they found more than 100 phones in Henao’s backpack. He was arrested on suspicion of grand theft and receiving stolen property. Many of the phones were immediately returned to the victims, the rest were taken to the festival’s lost and found area.

‘Glad to have my phone back, so glad…ugh,’ said Little. Reinaldo de Jesús Henao was booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Center. He was eventually released after posting $10,000 bail, according to inmate records.

But we can’t help wondering… what the hell made Reinaldo think it would be a good idea to steal smartphones at Coachella? Is there any event on earth at which more photos are uploaded to Instagram, more envy-inducing tweets are sent, and more ephemeral moments are captured on Snapchat? What we’re trying to say, Reinaldo – although it’s too late to be much use to you this time – is that if you go pinching phones at Coachella, it won’t take people long to figure out what you did.

Facebook / Indio Police Department


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