In the West Hollywood area of Los Angeles, there is a reported trend of cell phones being stolen from gay bars. Several TikTokers have made videos addressing the issue and urging the bars where it’s most prevalent to do something about it.
According to the WeHo Times, “A crime report from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station for the month of February lists 34 stolen cell phones in WeHo and notes that many cell phone thefts go unreported. The WeHo sheriffs are classifying cell phone theft as grand theft.”
One creator, Jacob Jauregui (@JacobJauregui2), shot a video earlier this month explaining his experiences during a Pride event in West Hollywood. He says he saw the woman who stole it in WeHo and claimed that “there are two of them working”. According to Jauregui, it was a woman who allegedly took his phone and then handed it to a man before later meeting up with a group of people. The pickpockets allegedly took all the stolen phones to a car and drove away. He says he followed them and unleashed “Nancy Drew” on them.
@jacobjauregui2 #stitch with @conoremcgrath This is a bigger problem and much more organized than you might think #wehopride #westhollywood #gay #lgbt #pickpocket #crimering #storytime ♬ Original sound – Jacob Jauregui
In the second part of the series, the creator explains what happened. He says he was going to a bar with his friends and on his way to another bar a woman bumped into him and reportedly stole his phone from his fanny pack. He says he knew immediately something was up and decided to confront her. Jauregui says the girl denied having the phone and he eventually left. Afterwards, the creator says he and his friend decided to follow the woman until she and another man allegedly met a group of people in an alley.
@jacobjauregui2 Replies to @bigirmz #greenscreen #wehopride #pickpocket #theft #lgbt #gay #CatchChobaniOatmilk ♬ Stranger Things – Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein
Jauregui goes on to say that there really isn’t much more they could do and believes the phones will most likely be dismantled in order to sell them.
The creator’s original video has been viewed over 336,000 times and the comments section has been inundated with people having similar experiences.
“It’s absolutely organized. The Abbey is one of the worst but it happens in every Weho bar and security is 100% there,” claimed one user, referring to the West Hollywood gay bar.
“Yes mine was stolen at The Abby Sunday,” one person commented.
“I literally use a burner phone now when I go out in Weho,” wrote a third.
Others gave advice on how to keep your belongings safe when going out.
“I always carry a similar fanny pack and use the twist ties on bread to keep the zippers closed, I’m so paranoid [at this point]’ wrote one TikTok user.
Another viewer said: “I 100% suggest a money belt or fanny pack. Don’t leave anything in your pockets or on your back at big events or clubs. The Lulu bum bag is a great option.”
The Daily Dot contacted the creator via TikTok comment for this story.
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*Initial publication: June 17, 2022 at 3:58 pm CDT
Moses Mendez II
Moises Mendez II is a graduate of CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. He is a freelance journalist based in New York City and writes on everything from music to LGBTQ issues.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/pickpocket-west-hollywood-stolen-phones/ Man warns of pickpocketing in West Hollywood after phone stolen