A photographer was able to recover around $7,000 in stolen gear from his car in a hotel parking lot thanks to a set of Apple AirTags he had attached to some of the items.
As reported by 9NewsGraham Tait — a Sydney-based photographer who was traveling in South Australia — had his car broken into in the parking lot of his hotel.
“My car was broken into while we were traveling through the Flinders Ranges last night and they took a laptop bag and a camera – both fitted with AirTags,” he says. 9News.
Tait was able to use the Find My app on his iPhone to locate the missing items and discovered that they were still at the scene: they had been stolen by what appeared to be another hotel guest.
“I used the Find My app and tracked the missing items down to a room in the hotel we’re staying at,” says Tait.
The police were called and the suspected thief was dealt with and Tait’s equipment was returned.
A controversial product
Apple’s AirTags have been the source of repeated controversy since their launch last year as they were a very simple and affordable way for stalkers to stalk victims. Like 9to5Mac Explain, Apple made post-launch software tweaks that warn users that devices are designed to track things, not people, and that law enforcement may request tracked information about an Apple ID. Apple also added a sound alert that tells people when an unknown AirTag is on them, making it easier to find.
Photographers were initially enthusiastic about AirTags to allow them to better protect their equipment against theft. Although tags were never marketed as a means of tracking stolen goods or apprehending thieves, they can clearly be used in this way.
“Apple really doesn’t want AirTags to be used for finding lost items. Still, many photographers are probably considering adding an AirTag to their gear bags and luggage, given that the tags themselves are a pretty good solution. affordable yet high-tech to keep an eye on expensive equipment,” PetaPixel written in April 2021.
Tait was lucky his thief hadn’t left the property or thrown away the majority of the luggage that carried his gear. In San Francisco, thieves have been shown to search through luggage and dispose of anything other than high-value electronics within minutes of stealing items from cars. In those cases, even an Apple AirTag wouldn’t be useful for long.
Picture credits: Apple