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APD makes additional arrests in link to phone theft at ACL Music Festival

Police said they recovered 290 stolen phones.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Oct. 15, the Austin Police Department announced three additional arrests in link to phone theft at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

The suspects were identified as:

  • Jenny Gomez, 30
  • Lidi Mora Morena, 35
  • John Diaz-Albarracin, 34

As of Oct. 15, police said a large quantity of the stolen phones recovered from people attending Weekend 1 of the festival are now ready to be reunited with their owners. Of the 290 phones APD recovered,100 have already been returned to their owners.

Police arrested the three individuals after the APD's Organized Crime Division worked with the U.S. Postal Inspector, who recently intercepted a package at a local post office to discover a large number of cellphones. Along with this recovery, police located stolen property from the festival and the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The three individuals were then charged with engaging in organized crime, a third-degree felony.

On Oct. 7,  the APD also announced the arrests of two men accused of cellphone theft during the first weekend of ACL – Holman Valbuena-Malpica and Johan Valbuena-Malpica, ages 35 and 33. 

Police said they received many reports of theft at the festival, a majority of which were referred to as pick-pocketing. In most cases, the items stolen were phones.

Holman Valbuena-Malpica is now charged with two third-degree felonies for theft from a person and tampering with evidence. Meanwhile, Johan Valbuena-Malpica is charged with a Class A misdemeanor for unlawful use of a criminal instrument. 

According to police, stolen phones are being powered down or placed into airplane mode to prevent tracking.

Police said if your stolen phone was discovered and you reported it via the lost and found site, an investigator will contact you with information on how to recover it. 

Anyone with more information about these cases is asked to call 311 or use iReport to make a police report, referencing case number 2021-5032087.

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