Stolen AirPods give up thief's location with Find My

in General Discussion edited January 2023
Police were able to apprehend four men who stole a Texas man's car and other property, after tracking the thieves via AirPods.

Second-generation AirPods Pro
Second-generation AirPods Pro

Dawayne Arrington was the victim of an overnight theft, discovering at his Leon Valley, San Antonio home that someone had stolen his car. After also discovering his work van was burgled overnight, he switched from preparing to go to the gym to a crime-fighting.

Opening up Find My, he saw that AirPods taken in the theft were apparently stationary at a travel stop on Interstate 35. After traveling to the truck stop and finding five people in an SUV, KSAT reports Arrington called the police for assistance.

At that moment, members of the group woke up and ran away from the SUV. The man said he also tackled one of the suspects after seeing he was reaching for a gun held in his waistband.

San Antonio Police then turned up and arrested the four suspects who were on foot. The fifth drove away in the SUV, but police stopped the chase after the driver reached speeds of around 100mph.

The arrest led to Arrington getting back his AirPods, with police also recovering his stolen car located elsewhere. Police were also able to secure other property believed to have been taken during a number of other car burglaries that happened in the area that same night.

Find My has been used numerous times to help aid in crimes and emergency situations, and while many relate to the AirTag tracker, quite a few involve other items, like AirPods.

In December, it was revealed Find My was used to track down AirPods stolen from a hotel room by an employee. In November, a New Hampshire man tracked down his stolen car, taken while he left it to warm up one morning.

Not all of the stories involving stolen AirPods leads to success. In May, four-time Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel used Find My to chase after bag thieves, but was thwarted after thieves found and disposed of the AirPods while running away.

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  • Reply 1 of 6
    Apple warns people not to pursue thieves using Find My. That guy could have been killed. 
  • Reply 2 of 6
    Sooo uhhh...we are or are not supposed to be using FindMy to hunt down criminals? Getting mixed signals with every other one of these news reports haha
  • Reply 3 of 6
    I had my bag stolen in San Jose, CA in 2022. Contained in the bag along with an iPad and other work items, were AirPod Pros. The AirPods pinged and located the thief in Hayward, CA at a residential address. I called and reported it to the San Jose police to follow up on my earlier report of the theft and loss, and the police said - “Oh, it probably gone now so you can just call back on Monday between the hours of 8am to noon, to update your case number report…. In other words they had no intention of doing anything - and they said as much directly to me on the phone with the provided information……they did absolutely nothing! Very disheartening - but not at all surprising.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    San Jose police is totally useless.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 1,135member
    ... I keep asking why the find my service needs to be on before it is needed ...?
  • Reply 6 of 6
    You might get that kind of cooperation in a state where they care about enforcing the law, but if you're in California you can forget it.
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