AirTag leads to confrontation & stolen e-bike return in California

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A California family recovered a stolen e-bike using AirTag, by tracking the vehicle directly to the thief's house.

AirTag
AirTag


Johnny Ehrman of Orange County discovered her e-bike had been stolen in March. The e-bike was an essential tool for her, used as transport to and from work, school, and other locations.

"I drive like 12 miles a day," Ehrman said to Fox 11 LA. "I was sobbing outside my workplace. I actually had some of my coworkers be like, What's happening? Where is your bike?"

However, the family had the forward planning to attach an AirTag to the $3,000 e-bike, which helped with the recovery. After reporting the theft to the police, the AirTag was tracked down to an apartment near to where they lived.

Father David Ehrman visited the location of the e-bike, and had a "brief confrontation" with the would-be thief.

"I yelled, 'Dude I am grabbing my daughters bike,' boom and I hightailed right out of there," David said. "The dude just stood there with the look on his face like I've never seen anyone with that look."

"I think the look was shock." he added "Like 'How did you get my location?'"

The Sheriff's department advised to the public that it is best for law enforcement to recover stolen items, for their own safety.

"As much as the convenience of technology plays a vital role in the quality of our lives, we want to remind our communities to utilize their local law enforcement services when they've been victimized by a crime instead of placing themselves into harm's way," said a police spokesperson.

The response to AirTag location information by police started poor, but is improving. It took about a year for law enforcement to reliably consider that information from a victim, and it still can depend on how tech savvy the department in question is.

A previous attempt to recover a stolen vehicle tracked by AirTag in April ended fatally, after the suspected thief was shot in the stolen truck by the vehicle's owners. Meanwhile, in August 2022, a New York Man ended up with a broken nose after motorbike thieves beat him up.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 515member
    The police: Let us handle this, it could be dangerous for you to get involved.

    Also the police:  We don’t handle stolen property cases.
    JapheybonobobStrangeDaysbeowulfschmidtaestival
  • Reply 2 of 5
    But they will be more than happy to let you spend your time filing a report that which will generate statistics that they will use to justify a budget increase that is used to buy something completely unrelated to property crime.
    bonobobForumPostbeowulfschmidtaestival
  • Reply 3 of 5
    ronnronn Posts: 664member
    Get insurance and involve the police. Property isn't worth getting seriously hurt, killed or possibly fighting charges in court. I know it's frustrating and too many police departments are too slow or too inept to handle. Don't let anger control your response.
    auxiochasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 5
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,769member
    ronn said:
    Get insurance and involve the police. Property isn't worth getting seriously hurt, killed or possibly fighting charges in court. I know it's frustrating and too many police departments are too slow or too inept to handle. Don't let anger control your response.
    Lol. Ok. 
  • Reply 5 of 5
    This is also the advice from police up here in Canada, but at least here there's a radically lower chance of getting shot recovering goods. I would also go to get my stolen item back, but if you never involve the police then you have to be aware that the thief will just steal someone else's stuff, and keep doing that. Whatever stops the thief from continuing to steal stuff is the best course of action — that's more important than your one thing.
    muthuk_vanalingamronn
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