AirTag tracks down carjacked car used in a shootout

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2023
A family's decision to use multiple AirTags with their car helped speed up its return, after it was jacked by a thief and was shot at.

An AirTag on a keyring
An AirTag on a keyring


Tracking devices like AirTags are becoming more common as a means to secure valuable items. However, thieves are keenly aware that they may be tracked long after the crime was committed.

In the case of one family in Washington D.C., their preparedness helped keep their vehicle trackable, despite attempts by the thief to evade tracking.

The Settler family was carjacked by a man with a pistol in South East D.C., according to ABC7 News. "I was unloading the car and a man came up on this side, of me, and showed me a pistol," explained Sean Setter.

After demanding the keys, the carjacker then took off with the family car, followed by a red car and an accomplice that helped the thief.

Settler then explained that, as a precautionary measure, they wanted to include AirTags in the car so that they could keep track of its location. A decision that certainly helped in this situation.

Two AirTags were kept in the car, with one on the keyring and one hidden in the vehicle. The AirTags were also recorded to his wife's account, so were quickly able to be pulled up on her iPhone.

Shortly after departing, the thief threw the husband's iPhone out of the vehicle at RFK Stadium, and also tossed the keyring AirTag. However, they didn't find the other hidden AirTag.

The result was that the police were able to locate the car just over an hour after it had been stolen.

While the car was recovered, it was deemed to have been totaled by the insurance company, due to the wear it had undergone in a short space of time. Damage from driving through yards led to an oil pan leak, and it had also suffered a bullet wound on one side after being involved in a shootout.

Police made an arrest on the case one day after the carjacking took place.

The family did the right thing by contacting the police and leaving it to law enforcement to track the vehicle, as not every instance where an owner went after a tracked thief goes well.

In another vehicle theft case in April where AirTag was used to track the vehicle, the suspected thief was shot in a stolen truck by its owners. In August 2022, a New York Man went after motorbike thieves using AirTag, but ended the encounter with a broken nose.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,341member
    JP234 said:
    It's fortunate that thieves are so stupid. If they realized that people are using AirTags, they'd get iPhones, and receive an alert that there is an AirTag that's not linked to their phone in their proximity, find it and disable it with a foot stomp.

    Those alerts are obviously a mixed blessing. They're good for stopping stalkers, but not so good for stolen items, if the thief is smart enough to use an iPhone.
    You seem a little confused about how AirTags work. A thief with an iPhone would not receive an alert that an AirTag was traveling with them immediately, it takes up to two days for that to start happening. PLENTY of time for law enforcement to track down the stolen item.
    XedJP234lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 6
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,341member
    BiC said:
    The Tags will increase Divorce rates and Violence - Lawyer's dreams- I know first hand because of my wife.  You don't have that much time when you're a thief - what are going to do pop the hood and use a flash light!  Worst invention to Mankind.  I've said it before I have to take the bus when she's at work or leave my car at work then get picked up.  It pisses me off...
    I think it’s very telling that you blame the AirTag for “increased divorce rates and violence” rather than the person who gets caught by AirTags, and their behaviour/choices.
    ihatescreennamesmacxpressronnDooofusJP234lolliverwatto_cobrabeowulfschmidtargonaut
  • Reply 3 of 6
    BiC said:
    The Tags will increase Divorce rates and Violence - Lawyer's dreams- I know first hand because of my wife.  You don't have that much time when you're a thief - what are going to do pop the hood and use a flash light!  Worst invention to Mankind.  I've said it before I have to take the bus when she's at work or leave my car at work then get picked up.  It pisses me off...
    Hmm. Have you considered anger management?
    ronnJP234lolliverwatto_cobraspock1234
  • Reply 4 of 6
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,341member
    JP234 said:
    Out of date. Apple updated AirTags last year to beep at a random interval between 8 and 24 hours (and they're working on making it shorter) after moving away from their linked iPhone. Agreed, still PLENTY of time for law enforcement to track down the stolen item (if the owner notices it's missing and notifies law enforcement) or for that stalker to hunt down and kill his prey.
    Thanks for letting me know! So "up to a day" would have been more accurate.
    JP234watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 6
    chutzpahchutzpah Posts: 392member
    BiC said:
    The Tags will increase Divorce rates and Violence - Lawyer's dreams- I know first hand because of my wife.  You don't have that much time when you're a thief - what are going to do pop the hood and use a flash light!  Worst invention to Mankind.  I've said it before I have to take the bus when she's at work or leave my car at work than get picked up.  It pisses me off...
    Maybe try being a better husband?
    ronnlolliverwatto_cobraargonaut
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