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Man grabs backpack full of stolen cell phones from thief; returns more than a dozen via Facebook | Crime/Police


Charles Santos was standing outside Good Friends Bar on Dauphine Street Saturday when he felt someone pull his phone out of his pocket.

He was hoping to catch the sights before for the city’s Pride Parade, but ended up spending the afternoon at his French Quarter home canceling accounts connected to his stolen phone. Furious but determined to salvage the day, Santos, 31, and his girlfriend, Hayley Brasted, 29, decided to venture back out, this time to Lafitte’s Blacksmith’s Shop on Bourbon Street.

When he got to the bar and told his story, several women there said they also had their phones stolen that day. Santos then saw a man outside the bar struggling with a person carrying a backpack — allegedly full of stolen phones. 

Santos took off running after the alleged thief and grabbed the backpack, which in fact contained 14 phones, he said. None were his.

So he worked with Brasted to create a Facebook post advertising his find. 

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“Hi community. If you lost your phone tonight, there is a chance that we found it! We were able to get his backpack after he stole someone else’s phone. It’s about 14 phones, and we’re going to keep them charged. Have your friends call them or reach out.” 

The couple has since put 11 phones back in the hands of their rightful owners. Brasted said she was returning the last three phones to their respective service providers. 

“We’re looking for a 100% return rate,” she said.

The New Orleans Police Department didn’t immediately comment on whether they’d received reports of stolen phones in the area. 

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