Charles Santos was standing outside the Good Friends bar on rue Dauphine on Saturday when he felt someone take his phone out of his pocket.
He was hoping to snag front sites 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 save the day, Santos, 31, and his girlfriend, Hayley Brasted, 29, decided to venture out again, this time to Lafitte’s Blacksmith’s Shop on Bourbon Street.
When he arrived at the bar and told his story, several women said they also had their phones stolen that day. Santos then saw a man outside the bar struggling with someone carrying a backpack – allegedly filled with stolen phones.
Santos ran after the suspected thief and grabbed the backpack, which actually contained 14 phones, he said. None were his.
So he worked with Brasted to create a Facebook post announcing his find.
“Hi community. If you lost your phone tonight, chances are we found it! We were able to recover his backpack after he stole someone else’s phone . There are about 14 phones, and we’re going to keep them charged if your friends call them or contact them.”
The couple have since returned 11 phones to their rightful owners. Brasted said it was returning the last three phones to their respective service providers.
“We are looking for a 100% return rate,” she said.
The New Orleans Police Department did not immediately comment on whether it had received reports of stolen phones in the area.