346 thefts were reported at Lollapalooza as we uncover 4 more people charged in connection with phone theft rings

Left to right: Giuliana Galindo, Martha Nieto, Juan Rosero, and Cristian Sanchez | CPD

Court records show that four more people were charged in connection with widespread phone thefts at last weekend’s Lollapalooza festival in Grant Park, bringing the total number of adults facing phone theft-related charges to eleven.

Over the four-day event, 346 theft reports were filed on the Lollapalooza grounds and immediately adjacent areas, with 241 of those classified as pocket-picking, according to Chicago police records. The actual number of thefts is likely higher because Chicago police classify many cases as “lost property” unless the owner is confident that their item was stolen.

During our review of Chicago police records, we found another four people, all from out of town, who were charged with misdemeanor theft of lost or mislaid property at Lollapalooza. All of the cases involved allegations of phone theft.

According to one CPD report, Lollapalooza staff called police to a locker area on Friday evening, July 29, after a phone theft victim traced their stolen device to a specific locker number.

Cops set up surveillance on the locker and arrested 25-year-old Cristian Sanchez of Miami after they saw him put another phone into the locker, the report said. Officers searched the locker and allegedly recovered a bag containing ten phones.

Martha Nieto, 41, of suburban Denver, is accused of having stolen IDs and credit cards in a van in the 100 block of West Ida B. Wells. Police found the allegedly stolen items during a search that resulted in the arrest of the van’s back seat passenger, Antony Bardales of Denver. He allegedly had a bag containing eight stolen phones at his feet.

Giuliana Galindo, 19, and Juan Rosero, 22, both of New York City, were arrested in the 800 block of South Columbus. According to police, three men handed phones to Galindo, who placed them in her purse. Rosero was one of those men, police said. According to his arrest report, Rosero was arrested when he returned a few minutes later to give Galindo another phone.

Galindo’s purse contained seven phones, according to police.

Only 15 people were arrested during the four-day festival, according to Chicago police, which would mean that nearly three-quarters of the arrests were related to phone theft. However, CWBChicago independently reviewed CPD records and identified 19 adult arrests during the festival.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com