Prosecutors on Tuesday accused three more people from other states of working as a phone theft crew at Lollapalooza. When undercover Chicago cops apprehended the trio on Sunday, they allegedly had 18 phones on them.
Four other out-of-state residents were previously charged with organized phone theft at the annual music festival.
The latest allegations stem from an undercover Chicago police investigation that began after a Lollapalooza attendee recorded video of two people stealing phones on Sunday, prosecutors said.
Edison Montana and Carmilla Gallano, both 27, and 25-year-old Marilin Sarmiento, are each charged with three counts of felony theft.
The witness who recorded video of Sarmiento and Montana allegedly stealing phones shared the footage with police, prosecutor Tilesha Jackson said. She said the CPD began surveilling the group via video cameras and undercover officers on the ground.
Officers watched as the group looked into people’s bags and pockets while their targets were distracted and dancing, Jackson alleged.
At one point, a covert officer saw the trio huddling as Montana put a collection of phones into Sarmiento’s fanny pack, she said. The cops moved in at that point and arrested the group.
Jackson said Montana was carrying a hydration pack that contained three phones in airplane mode. Three more phones, also in airplane mode, were in Sarmiento’s fanny pack. And another 12 were found inside a Faraday backpack carried by Gallano, according to Jackson.
Faraday bags are designed to keep cellphones from transmitting or receiving signals.
Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered each defendant to pay a $500 bail deposit in order to be released from jail. However, the judge refused to let them leave the jurisdiction because she was not convinced they had provided accurate home address information.
Gallano and Sarmiento refused to give their home addresses to police, Ahmad said. Their public defender said they live in New York City.
Montana’s residence was given alternatively as Miami, the Dominican Republic, and suburban Cicero.