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Woman pleads guilty in connection with Coachella Festival phone thefts

By in Press Enterprise on November 2, 2017

By City News Service

A Miami woman pleaded guilty today to a misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property in connection with a rash of cell phone thefts at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and was immediately sentenced to three years’ probation.

Multiple counts of grand theft filed against Brenda Cansino, 30, were dismissed as part of her plea deal.

Cansino was arrested April 22, along with Sharon Ruiz, 25, of Van Nuys and Marco Leon, 28, of Los Angeles, after Indio police said they were found with cell phones and other property taken from attendees during the festival’s second weekend.

Cansino’s co-defendants are still facing multiple counts of grand theft.

Ruiz remains free on bail and will return to court next month, while Leon has not appeared in court since his attorney said in May that his client had been taken into custody by immigration officials.

The 2017 festival saw 277 people arrested or cited across both weekends. The 277 mark exceeded last year’s total of 270, though the 2017 festival crowd was also larger than previous years due to the Indio City Council’s approval of an attendance cap increase from 99,000 to 125,000 at the Empire Polo Grounds.

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