AirTag, Find My key to recovery of lost wallet on NYC subway

Posted:
in General Discussion
A Brooklyn man was able to find his wallet hours after losing it on a New York City subway thanks to Apple's AirTag tracking accessory.

Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider
Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider


William Liu, 25, said he lost his wallet on the Metropolitan G subway after attending a concert that ended around 4 a.m. Liu says the wallet must have slipped out of his pocket on the subway ride.

After waking up at 1 p.m. the next day, Liu realized that he had lost his wallet. "I pulled up the Find My app and saw that it was all the way at Church ave," he wrote.

Liu made it to the Church Ave station and asked some of the local Metropolitan Transportation Authority staff whether they had received a lost wallet. After asking around, he said no wallets had be found, but one MTA staffer said it could be in a dispatcher's office.

Once Liu got close to the dispatcher's office, Precision Finding began activating on his iPhone.

"It starts pointing us right to the booth. I'm getting really excited at this point, I really needed my wallet because we were traveling at the end of the week," he wrote. "We knock on the door and ask the lady inside about a wallet. She says she hasn't seen or heard about no wallet and shrugs us off. She really didn't want to deal with us and she seemed pretty sure that a wallet did not get turned in."

However, Liu was certain the wallet was nearby because of the Find My feature. He showed the MTA dispatcher the Find My app and gave it to her so she could look around the office building.

"She takes my phone, and goes back inside the office. We can see precision finding guiding her around the office, until it takes her to a drawer, which she opens. To her disbelief, my wallet is there!" Liu wrote.

The 25-year-old tech enthusiast praised Apple's AirTag accessory and how a "cheap device can tie into the existing ecosystem and integrate with the other devices to create a practical and powerful experience for users." Liu also mentioned how amazed the dispatcher was about the technology. "She kept asking me, 'How did you do that?'" he wrote.

Although it was likely a stranger who found the wallet and turned it in to the MTA, Liu said the chances of him finding it without AirTag were slim to none.

"I'm so thankful I tagged my wallet, and really impressed with how the tech worked out for me in a real life situation. If I didn't have the tag, there's no way I would have gotten that wallet back

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,929member
      If I didn't have the tag, there's no way I would have gotten that wallet back”
    Cool story—and I’m glad he got his wallet back—but “no way” is a stretch. The idiots in the booth could easily have opened the wallet and found an ID and looked him up...

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 9
    I want to know how he attached the AirTag to his wallet.
    gregoriusmchaickastevenozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 9
    This is an encouraging success story. I think the number one lost item is umbrella. Any one know how to attach the AirTag to an umbrella?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 9
    maltzmaltz Posts: 265member
    bageljoey said:
      If I didn't have the tag, there's no way I would have gotten that wallet back”
    Cool story—and I’m glad he got his wallet back—but “no way” is a stretch. The idiots in the booth could easily have opened the wallet and found an ID and looked him up...


    And then what?  The person to whom it was originally turned in threw it in a drawer, and then the person they were speaking with was blowing them off without even bothering to ask around.  I find it very unlikely that crew would go to much/any trouble to track down the owners of every wallet that's lost in the NYC subway every day.
    igorskywatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 9
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 520member
    bageljoey said:
    “  If I didn't have the tag, there's no way I would have gotten that wallet back”
    Cool story—and I’m glad he got his wallet back—but “no way” is a stretch. The idiots in the booth could easily have opened the wallet and found an ID and looked him up...

    They could have, but they wouldn't have.  That's why they're idiots.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 9
    gregoriusmgregoriusm Posts: 451member
    bageljoey said:
    “  If I didn't have the tag, there's no way I would have gotten that wallet back”
    Cool story—and I’m glad he got his wallet back—but “no way” is a stretch. The idiots in the booth could easily have opened the wallet and found an ID and looked him up...

    Not necessarily. I lost my car keys and couldn’t find them for 2 years when I got a call from a local laundromat a few months ago.  The keys had been sitting in a drawer right behind the front counter for the entire 2 years until a new employee saw them. They had a security tag on them where anyone can throw them in a post office box for a free return, and my phone number on a tag on the keys as well. So, even with that sort of identification on my keys, they sat in that drawer for 2 years. I probably would have been able to find them the same day had I had an AirTag on them. 
    chaickawatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 9
    chaickachaicka Posts: 237member
    I want to know how he attached the AirTag to his wallet.
    Same here. I tried and I find it caused a bulge when I slid the AirTag in an inner compartment of a usual/common men's wallet. For ladies' wallet, it's easier cause it's usually longer or thicker.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 9
    I cleaned out my wallet and put a lot of ID cards into AppleWallet using Pass2U Wallet on my iPhone, so even with an AirTag now slipped into a inner compartment my wallet is actually thinner than it was before!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 9
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,010member
    I want to know how he attached the AirTag to his wallet.
    Me too. But given the  size of some of the wallets old men carry, just putting it in any of the pockets would work. I'd like to see Apple work on a wallet-size AirTag. Maybe a little larger in diameter to accommodate a thinner tag, and a CR2025 battery instead of a CR2032.

    I've tried a Tile and Trackr tag for wallet and though slimmer than an AirTag, they just haven't worked out well.
    watto_cobramaltz
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