Police Find Unexpected Use for Apple AirTags

The utility of Apple's AirTag item trackers have started to be seen in law enforcement when locating stolen property, according to recent reports.

f1618938547
As reported by GadgetLite, an AirTag user in Boston was able to recover their stolen property with the help of the police and Apple's small tracking device.

Earlier this month, the user discovered that his bike had been stolen. Thankfully, he had hidden an AirTag inside the bicycle's pouch, which enabled him to see the bike's precise location and pass this information on to the police.

The Boston police were then able to recover the AirTag, still in its pouch, from a trashcan and found the stolen bike nearby. The police returned both items to their owner. Though the AirTag enabled the recovery of the bike, it did not help any arrests to be made or reveal who may have been responsible for the theft.

The AirTag has a number of features that prevent it from traveling with someone without their knowledge, which could alert a thief to its presence. For example, if your iPhone detects that an AirTag is traveling with you, it will issue a notification. A similar feature plays an audio alert when the AirTag has been separated from its owner for more than three days. In this case, it is likely that neither alert was triggered since the thief discarded the pouch containing the AirTag nearby.

While the AirTag is not explicitly designed to find a stolen item, instead being focused on locating a misplaced item, the reassurance of at least being able to try to track down a stolen item is an added bonus for many AirTag owners. For more about Apple's AirTag, see our dedicated guide.

Related Forum: AirTags

Related Stories

tagvault

ElevationLab Launches 'TagVault' AirTag Holder

Friday April 30, 2021 9:52 am PDT by
ElevationLab today debuted the TagVault, which is the most protective AirTag holder that we've seen to date. Priced at $12.95 for one or $29.95 for a pack of three, the TagVault is a two piece AirTag holder that screws together to offer total protection for an AirTag. The two halves come apart, the AirTag is situated in the middle, and then four screws hold the TagVault together....
airtag 1

AirTag Anti-Stalking Measures 'Just Aren't Sufficient' Says Washington Post Report

Wednesday May 5, 2021 6:03 pm PDT by
The safeguards that Apple built into AirTags to prevent them from being used to track someone "just aren't sufficient," The Washington Post's Geoffrey Fowler said today in a report investigating how AirTags can be used for covert stalking. Fowler planted an AirTag on himself and teamed up with a colleague to be pretend stalked, and he came to the conclusion that the AirTags are a "new means...
airtag android 1

Apple Releases 'Tracker Detect' App to Prevent Android Users From Being Tracked by AirTags

Monday December 13, 2021 10:44 am PST by
Apple today released a new "Tracker Detect" app on the Google Play Store, with the app designed to allow Android users to locate AirTags that might be nearby. According to the app's description, Tracker Detect looks for item trackers that are separated from their owner and that are compatible with the Find My Network, so it will locate AirTags and other Find My-enabled devices like the...
airtag hermes

AirTag Hermès Currently Unavailable From Apple

Monday May 24, 2021 6:26 am PDT by
As reported by 9to5Mac, AirTag Hermès is currently unavailable for purchase from Apple or directly from the Hermès website. The reasoning behind the unavailability remains unknown. Apple's AirTags Hermès line features three separate styles, an AirTag with a Hermès keyring, bag charm, and luggage tag. All styles feature the standard AirTag with a removable backplate but engraved with...
airtag in hand

New York Attorney General Issues AirTag Consumer Alert Over Stalking Concerns

Wednesday February 16, 2022 9:47 am PST by
Though Apple last week announced changes to AirTags that will likely help cut down on unwanted tracking, officials are starting to take notice of complaints. New York Attorney General Letitia James today sent out a consumer alert with "safety recommendations" to protect New Yorkers from AirTags (via The Mac Observer). Across the country, Apple AirTags are being misused to track people and...
f1618938547

Apple Executive Says AirTags Designed to Track Items, Not Children or Pets

Thursday April 22, 2021 6:42 am PDT by
Following the announcement of AirTags this week, Apple's VP of worldwide iPhone product marketing, Kaiann Drance, and Apple's senior director of sensing and connectivity, Ron Huang, spoke with Fast Company about the Tile-like tracker and its design and privacy. Speaking about the design of AirTag, Drance says Apple wanted to create a simple yet unique design for the tracker, keeping in mind...
airtag in hand

Muscle Car Owner Targeted With Hidden AirTag Placed by Thieves

Tuesday December 21, 2021 9:02 am PST by
Michigan resident John Nelson claims that he was recently targeted by car thieves who hid one of Apple's AirTags in his vehicle, a 2018 Dodge Charger. According to a Fox 2 Detroit report, Nelson visited the Great Lakes Crossing shopping center in Auburn Hills, where he spent about two hours. After departing, he got a notification on his phone that informed him he was being tracked by an...
AirTag is Linked to Apple ID Feature

Apple Announces AirTag Updates to Address Unwanted Tracking

Thursday February 10, 2022 9:58 am PST by
Apple today announced that it is making some updates to AirTags with the aim of cutting down on unwanted tracking. There are several changes that will be implemented in a multi-phase rollout. In an upcoming software update, Apple plans to implement new privacy warnings that will show up during AirTag setup to thwart malicious use. The warning will make it clear that the AirTag is linked to...

Popular Stories

iOS 16

Apple Releases iOS 16.0.2 With Bug Fixes for iPhone 14 Pro Camera Vibration, Copy/Paste Issue and More

Thursday September 22, 2022 1:04 pm PDT by
Apple today released iOS 16.0.2, addressing a number of bugs that iPhone 14 owners have been experiencing since the new devices launched. iOS 16.0.2 comes two weeks after the launch of iOS 16, and it follows iOS 16.0.1, an update made available to iPhone 14 owners on launch day. The update is available for all iPhones that are capable of running iOS 16. The iOS 16.0.2 update can be...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Don't Want the Apple Watch Ultra or Series 8? Amazon Has Record Low Prices on Series 7 Models This Week

Friday September 23, 2022 6:56 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra are now available to purchase, but if you aren't interested in these updates you can save a lot of money on Series 7 models right now on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. The best deals are on cellular...
Dynamic Island For Android Users Feature

Android App Copying iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island Released on Play Store

Thursday September 22, 2022 7:57 am PDT by
A copycat version of the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island has arrived on Android's Google Play Store in the form of an app called "dynamicSpot." The app, still in beta, offers customers several different experiences at the top of their smartphones. In its current form, dynamicSpot offers playback control for songs, timers, battery status, and more features coming soon, according to the app's...
maxresdefault

Video Review: Four Days With the iPhone 14 Pro Max

Wednesday September 21, 2022 7:49 am PDT by
Apple on Friday released the new iPhone 14 models, and MacRumors videographer Dan picked one up on launch day. He's been using the iPhone 14 Pro Max non-stop since it came out, and over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, has shared his initial thoughts on the day-to-day experience with the latest iPhone. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Dan's mini review highlights...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

New 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pros Reportedly Launching Later This Year

Friday September 23, 2022 7:08 am PDT by
Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro models in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report does not mention specific models, but it very likely refers to the next-generation 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros given that the 13-inch model was already updated earlier this year. There has been uncertainty surrounding the timing of new 14-inch and...
facebook meta

Meta Sued Over Tracking iPhone Users Despite Apple's Privacy Features

Thursday September 22, 2022 5:12 am PDT by
Meta is facing a new proposed class action lawsuit that accuses it of tracking and collecting the personal data of iPhone users, despite features and policies made by Apple which are meant to stop that same type of tracking. In August, it was revealed that with the Facebook and Instagram apps, Meta can track all of a user's key taps, keyboard inputs, and more, when using the in-app browser....
AirPods Max 2022 Colors

Ten Things AirPods Pro 2 Tell Us About AirPods Max 2

Saturday September 24, 2022 1:00 am PDT by
Upon the release of the second-generation AirPods Pro, the AirPods Max became the oldest current-generation AirPods product still in Apple's lineup. Introducing several new features like Adaptive Transparency and the H2 chip, the second-generation AirPods Pro may provide some of the best indications yet of what to expect from the second-generation AirPods Max. Almost two years later, rumors...
new airpods pro ear tips

Apple Explains Why Second-Generation AirPods Pro Ear Tips Are Incompatible With Original AirPods Pro

Thursday September 22, 2022 3:12 pm PDT by
Apple today explained why the new silicone ear tips for the second-generation AirPods Pro are not officially compatible with the original AirPods Pro. In an updated support document, Apple said the original AirPods Pro ear tips have "noticeably denser mesh" than the second-generation ear tips. Apple did not provide any additional details, but the mesh density could result in acoustical...
AirPods Pro Second Generation 2 Pairing Feature 1

AirPods Pro 2 Engravings Appear in iOS During Pairing and Connecting

Friday September 23, 2022 9:40 am PDT by
Customers who personalize their second-generation AirPods Pro charging case with an engraving will now have that engraving reflected directly on iOS as they pair and connect their AirPods Pro. Apple allows customers to personalize their AirPods Pro charging case with a special engraving that can include select emojis and Memojis. Unlike before, starting with the second-generation AirPods...