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Apple AirTag Leads Authorities to Find $16,000 Worth of Stolen Luggage

A common occurrence turned into a criminal investigation shortly after a traveler reported missing luggage which was said to have $1,600 worth of items in it. Thanks to an Apple Air Tag (an apple product used as a tracking device) in her suitcase, she was able to identify where the baggage was. The air tag showed up as "last active" in the area of Kathy Court in Mary Esther, FL. ( More...

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pilotjag 16
This is another reason why I never travel without AirTags. I have little trust in anyone these days...
bbabis 16
The site also doesn't allow adblockers so that's that.
Rick Hoffman 1
Yup on the add block no read for me
Joseph Glavin 1
chugheset 1
Not accurate on the adblocker. Notice the small text under the warning stating "Proceed Anyway". I got right through with ad blocker enabled.
Doug Gilbert 8
Would appreciate Squawk list to boycott stores and sites that have ad trackers. Interestingly enough it was the settings on Apple Safari that stopped the ads on this one!
AWAAlum 2
I've found somewhat of a solution to that by always operating on the computer's "Private Window".
AWAAlum 1
Apologies - I misinterpreted your comment, thinking it was directed at ads embedded onto a story, rather than the story topic itself.
jbqwik 1
You would like all your information and entertainment for no effort and free for the taking? So would I. This is a more complicated and nuanced issue than simply boycotting as an answer. Most sites want compensation and each have evolved various ways and means and strategies. In my opinion -which might be uninformed and out of touch- each of us should make considered decisions whether we want to support, or not, and if not then simply don't access the offending site. Just realize that behind every infotainment portal there are people putting resources and effort into it.
Leander Williams 1
My adblocker plus had no trouble blocking the ads.
Alexey L 7
Someone called MegaLag on youtube put airtags in the packages and DHLed them. These still got lost, DHL compensated, and that's it. Despite him being able to tell them where the packages were.
Airtags - cool, but getting people to care is even more impressive.
Lance Neward 2
Interestingly enough, I recently flew to MUC via DL and KL, ended up last leg on LH. (WX delayed flight, missed connections, etc.) Once in MUC, as might be expected, no bags. Wife's bag arrived the next day, mine did not. Mine had an Airtag, which told me exactly where it was: in LH'S bag room at MUC.

In the next two days, I made two trips from my downtown hotel back to MUC terminal, but LH would not allow me to go to the bag room and use the Airtag to find it. I told (and showed) them I could pinpoint it within a meter, and then use the pinger. No luck--"It is not our policy" nor would they use my phone (which I was willing to let them use) to do the same thing: "It is not our policy".

I learned to live for two weeks in Europe out of my carry-on; all the time knowing exactly where the bag was: LH's bag room at MUC. Got back home to SLC, at which point the app told me that I was 4,608 miles from the air tag. Suddenly, at breakfast one day, I said "Holy "cow" the bag is at SLC airport!" I called DL (LH associate in SLC) and drove out to get it. As I was traveling the next day, it was useful to have it, and at least my clothes were already packed.
Mark Gahwiler 1
Mary Esther, FL Police aren't real busy with violent crime, so they actually have time to investigate other crimes. A perk of living in a less populated area.
Wyatt N-Johnson 7
Put the perps behind bars for at least 3 years.
Stephen Donnelly 21
Started out as a news item, ended up as an ad. A new low!
AWAAlum 1
Wishing it was "new".
Larry Romaine 2
Also I would always advise that you be VERY careful of links that you click on. So, for instance, I’m sold on Apple AirTags because of this article, go to Apples website and purchase them there!!
Just be skeptical of links.
btweston 6
That’s some blatant advertising.
Mark Harris 7
Nothing wrong with that if it helps reunite customers with their luggage.
jbqwik 5
When reading or reporting upon a story it's important to have accurate and pertinent facts. As such, I don't see how this as inappropriate advertising
Phil1965 1
Also use the USA Today link...
Doug Dornbos 1
There are numerous brands of luggage GPS trackers on the market. But if Apple was paying for the news release, I don't blame them for championing their brand. I've written local news releases before and the best news outlets always modified the content so it was less biased. Most however, if they ran it all, just ran it like I wrote it.
clarify 2
Apple Air Tags are not GPS trackers. They're low energy Bluetooth beacons. Every so often they simply send out a signal announcing their presence and their unique ID. Nearby Apple devices (e.g., iPhones) hear those beacons and send their ID and some location information back to Apple. There are layers of cryptography to protect the privacy surrounding the device (e.g., iPhone) that helps out in this process. So no information about the location of the iPhone (and its owner) is retained or retrievable.

The fact that this is a low energy Bluetooth beacon means the battery can last for *years*.

Compare that with a device that actually is a GPS receiver. Not only does it have to power up and wait for signals from enough satellites to arrive to determine its location, it then has to transmit that information back to the owner somehow, likely via the cell phone network. That too has energy costs. Neither of those is low-energy, so any such device might only be able to last on the order of days or be attached to a very large battery.

What's interesting is that Air Tag technology relies on iPhones and iPads and Macs being so pervasive around the inhabited globe.
Lance Neward 2
Interestingly--In the aforementioned incident,I was getting the message that the battery was low, but it still worked for weeks after that. When I finally got it back I did replace the battery.
Doug Dornbos 1
Thanks for that clarification. So if the thief who stole the luggage used an iPhone, then his own device could have been part of the location information being sent back to the owner. That's poetic!

So my corrected post would read: There are numerous brands of luggage locators on the market. But if Apple was paying for the news release, I don't blame them for championing their technology.
Rusty Campos 1
Thank you for some clarity on the technology of Air Tags. I love this site because I learn things.
John Yeung 1
$16,000 or $1,600
Henk Borsje 5
One was 1600, another 15K. Roughly 16K total
cyberjet 0
But the headline says “Apple Air Tag Leads Authorities”, not “AirTags”. I think it’s a typo, and that she had $16,000 worth of stuff in her bag.
clarify 3
Quoting the article: " One of the individuals that police investigated was a 19-year-old man named Giovanni De Luca, an airline subcontractor. Investigators went to his home on Aug 10 and found the items that had been reported missing, plus those of another man who reported that $15,000 worth of jewelry from his suitcase had gone missing just days earlier."
Reads like an ad from Apple. Now Apple not only knows your every step but your luggage too@! An inexpensive wifi and gps jammer will solve the problem of you being tracked, even your luggage.
AWAAlum 1
Well, except, and unless I'm missing the point, isn't the Apple Air Tag's sole purpose tracking? So, why jam it?
Or a faraday bag....


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