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Austin police give tips on preventing phone theft at ACL Fest

Last year, nearly 300 phones that were stolen during Weekend 1 of the Austin City Limits Music Festival were recovered by the APD.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Police Department is preparing for Austin City Limits Music Festival, and one of the most common crimes they see every year is phone theft.

Last year, Austin police recovered nearly 300 phones that were stolen during Weekend 1 of ACL. In 2019, more than 40 phones were reported stolen during Weekend 1. In 2018, a large number of phones that were stolen ended up being found by police a year later when they were shipped in a package to Florida.

Since this is an issue every year, police wanted to share some tips on how to try to prevent getting your phone stolen.

They say most people who get their phones stolen either have their phones pick-pocketed out of their back pockets or out of their backpacks. Police say it is better to keep your phone in a fanny pack or in a zipped or locked purse. You should also keep your phone in a different location than your ID and credit cards so they are not stolen all at once.

There are also things you can do prior to the festival that could help you get your phone back if it does get stolen.

“On your cell phone, record any serial numbers or identifiers that you have on there and keep that in a separate location. So, if you do find yourself a victim of theft, you'll be able to provide that information to us, because the more information we have, the better,” said Corporal Destiny Silva with the APD's Public Information Office.

Of the 290 phones recovered last year that were stolen at ACL, at least 100 phones were returned to their owners.

They say another way to prevent your phone from getting stolen is by being aware of your surroundings. This is not only important to protect your property but also for your personal safety.

Corporal Silva also advised to check ACL’s lost and found first if you lose your phone.

There will be police both inside and outside of the festival, but if you have a non-emergency you need to report, you can either use APD’s online reporting system or call 3-1-1.


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