A South by Southwest festival volunteer is accused of stealing three event badges worth $1,650 each, according to court documents.
Austin police have charged 25-year-old Antonio W. Ferreira Jr. with theft, a state jail felony in which the value of the stolen property exceeds $2,500 but is less than $30,000. The badges were estimated to be worth a combined $4,950.
According to an arrest affidavit, SXSW officials were first alerted Monday about a scheme in which festival credentials were being produced and distributed to people who did not purchase them legally.
SXSW officials told police they reviewed "back-end data, (surveillance) camera footage and other elements of their credentialing system," the affidavit said. On Wednesday, officials identified two volunteers who were spotted on camera printing credentials with the names of actual paying registrants. But the volunteers then gave them to people who weren't the registrants and also didn't buy them through SXSW, according to the affidavit.
The man who improperly acquired the credentials Wednesday at the Austin Convention Center was stopped by SXSW staff, but he surrendered his badge and left the building, the affidavit said.
When Austin police tracked down the man, he told them he had answered a Craigslist ad and met a person at the convention center, who then directed him to Ferreira, according to the affidavit. The man identified Ferreira as the man who gave him the credentials, police said. The affidavit did not identify the other person.
Police accused Ferreira of illegally distributing two other badges earlier during the festival on March 9. Ferreira remained in the Travis County Jail on Thursday with bail set at $25,000.