Around this time every year since the event’s incorporation back in 1999, thousands of happy-go-lucky festival-goers have gathered amidst the heat of California’s Inland Empire to attend the world-famous Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival. To the backdrop of vibrant culture, live musical performances, and exciting fanfare, Coachella is essentially a 21st century Woodstock, where fans come together with their friends, and like-minded strangers from all around the world, to experience the latest in rock, Indie, hip-hop, electronic dance music, and to savor the myriad of sights and tastes that you probably won’t see anywhere else. And so the story goes, according to an article published by the Los Angeles Times, that amidst the backdrop of star-studded musical performances, tasty foods, and groovy art installations that simply screamed “take a picture with me,” at least 100 people fell victim to the tasteless acts of a single, desperate man.
As these unsuspecting concert-goers were simply going about their day, enjoying the festivities they rightfully paid for, 36-year-old Reinaldo De Jesus Henao, a New York native, was seizing on the opportunity to swipe cellphones from their owners’ pockets. Unfortunately for Henao, however, he likely wasn’t expecting the group of victims to be so tech-savvy, or to fight back with such a vengeance.
Realizing their devices had been “lost” amidst a sea of their peers, several of these quick-thinking individuals activated the Find My iPhone feature on their devices — which ultimately led them to Henao, who they followed closely around the venue, until he was later detained by on-site security personnel. One thing led to another, and when police officers from the Indio Police Department arrived on scene shortly thereafter, over 100 cellphones were discovered floating around in Henao’s backpack.
Of course, he was then arrested on multiple charges, including suspicion of grand theft and possession of stolen property. Several of the victims got their devices back right there on the spot, however, while the rest were returned to lost and found to await their rightful owners, police reports say.
According to LA’s ABC 7, “Henao was booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Center. . . He was released on Saturday after posting $10,000 bail, according to inmate records.”