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Ahead of another music festival, police share ways to keep items from being stolen

By Orko Manna

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    SACRAMENTO, California (KCRA) — The Sacramento Police Department confirmed with KCRA 3 that it is looking into several reported phone thefts during the 2023 Aftershock Festival at Discovery Park, while the same producers behind the event are gearing up for another music festival at the same location.

While the specific number of reports made is unclear, Sacramento police said, “Cases once approved will be forwarded to the appropriate detective unit supervisor for review and assignment.”

Aftershock, which happened from Oct. 5 to Oct. 8, brought in thousands of people to Sacramento. But many of those people said their phones were stolen at the event. Tracie Arnaud of Rancho Cordova said someone stole her phone on the Friday of the festival, but she did not find out about it until the end of the night.

“Everything was fine. We were leaving the show, and next thing I know, I was looking for my phone — couldn’t find it,” Arnaud said. “Everything is literally on your phone. And it’s sad to say that, but that’s like your lifeline, so it’s a little scary.”

Arnauld said she immediately disabled her phone and went to the store the next day to get a new one. She said that is when she discovered she was not the only one who went through something like that at Aftershock this year.

“The AT&T guy had said that there was probably about nine people before me that had come in and had the same thing happen to them and that was around 10:45 in the morning,” Arnaud said.

Jeffrey Helton traveled all the way to Sacramento from his home in Dallas, Texas, just to attend Aftershock this year. He said his phone was stolen on the Thursday night of the festival.

“It started getting a little rowdy, so I took my wife out of the pit area, reached down into my pocket before I even got out, realized it was gone,” Helton said. “I went through the crowd, you know, ‘Hey, did anyone find a phone.’ But as I was doing that, I noticed quite a few other people saying, ‘I’m missing my phone,’ and it just kind of kept echoing from all around me.”

Danny Wimmer Presents is the company that produces Aftershock, as well as the GoldenSky country music festival, which is taking place Oct. 14 and Oct. 15 at Discovery Park, the same place where Aftershock was held. KCRA 3 reached out to Danny Wimmer Presents to ask what, if anything, is being done to prevent phone thefts during these kinds of music festivals, but the public relations team said there was no one available Thursday for comment.

Helton said Danny Wimmer Presents should do more so others do have their phones stolen during music festivals, just like his was stolen at Aftershock.

“It seemed like they could put up some cameras and watch peoples’ patterns, and there’s definitely some people watching the show, and some people, their movements are running around behind people,” Helton said. “There’s definitely a way to catch it, they just have to be smart and think outside the box.”

Sacramento police released safety tips to prevent items, such as phones, from being stolen from attendees of the GoldenSky Festival:

Always be aware of your surroundings. Frequent bumps in a crowd might be related to a pickpocket. Limit the size and property that you are taking with you. Carry only the cash and cards you need. Use handbags or purses that have a zipper or locking flap. Keep the zipper or locking flap closed when not using your handbag and carry it in front and close to your body. Carry wallets inside a closed coat pocket or your front pants pocket. Never carry your wallet in your rear pants pocket without a chain or button pocket to secure it.

Sacramento police also said to call the non-emergency number, (916) 808-5471, or make a police report online if you believe you have been the victim of theft.

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