Apple AirTags – either you love the assurance it brings to your luggage and/or devices when they get lost, or you hate it for its privacy and security issues.
However, believe it or not, the following story made an Apple AirTag a key item to arrest a thief stealing thousands of dollars worth of items.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OSCO) revealed that an Apple Airtag was used to track down and arrest a Florida airline worker who stole thousands of dollars worth of luggage last week, per 9to5Mac.
Although the stolen items were never recovered, the airline worker is now in police custody and facing criminal charges.
Florida Airline Worker Theft Facts
OSCO mentioned in a Facebook post dated August 12 that its Airport Security Unit became aware of suspicious activity when a traveler reported that their suitcase with more than $1,600 never arrived at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport.
Although the luggage went missing, it did have an activated AirTag, letting the traveler know that it had last been activated in Mary Esther, Florida.
Another traveler reported more than $15,000 in jewelry and other items have been taken from his luggage on Aug. 9 at the same airport. However, the bag containing these items didn’t have an AirTag attached to it, and as such, its last known location was unknown.
Nevertheless, deputies took the information from the two thefts and cross-referenced it with employees living in the vicinity of Kathy Court.
During this investigation, the last known location of the AirTag of the first victim was used to track down the thief in question.
The investigation led deputies to the doorstep of 19-year-old Giovanni De Luca, an airline subcontractor at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport.
With a “consensual contact,” deputies were able to enter De Luca’s home and recovered the items from the second victim’s suitcase, which had gone missing on Aug. 9.
CBS News reports that De Luca admitted to rummaging through the suitcase of the first victim and removing the AirTag attached to their luggage. Fortunately, De Luca was unable to remove it fast enough to hide his location from the Airtag’s owner.
However, deputies were unable to recover the first victim’s belongings.
Following his arrest, De Luca is now facing two counts of grand theft and is in police custody.
“This arrest is an example of excellent teamwork by our Airport Security Unit, our Investigators, and the Airport to find the person responsible for these thefts and make sure he is held responsible,” said Sheriff Eric Aden.
There Are Many Like It
De Luca’s arrest was not the first time an Apple AirTag became a key item to solving a theft case. Back on May 27, Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel used the Find My app on his iPhone to track down the whereabouts of his belongings in real-time following their disappearance.
According to Apple Insider and a separate 9to5Mac report, Vettel chased down the robbers who stole his belongings after parking his Aston Martin at a hotel in Barcelona after the Spanish Grand Prix.
Despite Vettel’s chase, the robbers were able to get away with his belongings, leaving only the AirBuds to which Vettel’s AirTag was attached.