Thief steals 100 phones at Coachella, underestimates find-my-phone tech

100 phone thief coachella news find my airpods
Tracking technology for smartphones, whether it’s Apple’s Find My iPhone or Google’s Android Device Manager system, really can reunite you with a stolen or misplaced phone. Sometimes it can go above and beyond, and reunite many people with many phones in one go, and help police apprehend the nasty piece of work that took them in first place. One lowlife thief discovered this the hard way at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

More than 100,000 people attend the Coachella festival in California, but not everyone is there to have a good time. One man, subsequently identified as 36-year-old New Yorker Reinaldo De Jesus Henao, came to steal smartphones. He wandered the festival space, pickpocketing his marks, and stashing the stolen goods in his backpack. When people began to notice their phones were missing, many decided to enlist the help of their respective find-my-phone service.

The stolen phones showed up as still being in the area, and owners were able to pinpoint their exact location, which was given to security personnel on site. Luckily, the thief wasn’t clever enough to turn off all the devices after nabbing them. In a statement released by the Indio Police Department, the pickpocket was apprehended and upon opening his backpack, more than 100 stolen phones were discovered inside. Devices were returned to owners who had already discovered their phones were missing, while the rest wait to be collected. Henao was arrested for theft and possession of stolen property.

While things worked out here, and the phones were returned with help from security and the police, we’d always recommend contacting law enforcement rather than go searching for a stolen phone using a tracking system yourself. Thieves are rarely nice people, and confronting them on your own isn’t a good idea. Find My iPhone and Android Device Manager are equally useful if you accidentally leave your phone somewhere, rather than it getting stolen. There are also plenty of other tracking services for phones out there, for both before and after you lose it.

Smart Home

People are stealing Ring doorbells (and it’s no knock-knock joke)

Ring Video Doorbell thefts in a Denver neighborhood raise questions about how much security the smart home devices actually provide. One homeowner and the police have a video of the theft. Here's what to do if your Ring device is stolen.

Xiaomi’s Gamepad 2.0 turns the Black Shark into a mini Switch

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced the Gamepad 2.0 for its Black Shark gaming phone that launched earlier this year. The new gamepad is similar to the Switch Joy-Con, with one piece attaching to each side of the phone.

New Moment photo cases and lenses are a big plus for the OnePlus 6T

Moment has announced that it is now releasing photo cases and lenses for the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T, giving owners of those phones the ability to add on some high-quality photographic accessories.

Android 9.0 updates to stretch into 2019 — will your phone get a slice of Pie?

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.

Microsoft’s latest patent paves the way for Andromeda dual-screen mobile device

The latest patent discovery from Microsoft showcases a new hinge design for quickly opening a dual-screen mobile device with a single hand. Could this be additional proof surrounding the rumors of the company's Project Andromeda device?

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.

Apple is spending $1 billion to hire up to 15,000 new employees in Austin

Apple has announced a series of expansions across the U.S. -- including a massive expansion to the company's Austin campus that will see it spending $1 billion to accommodate for up to 15,000 new employees.

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.

Quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed

Looking for a few accoutrements to make your smartphone even better? If you, or someone you know, is a sucker for accessories, you'll want to check out our collection of quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed.

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.