Apple’s AirTag item tracker has helped a man in Memphis get his stolen car back. Action Messages 5 reports.


Earlier this month, a High Point Terrace resident’s Hyundai Santa Fe SUV was broken into, damaging the passenger window and steering column. According to police reports, someone appears to have tried to steal the vehicle but was unsuccessful.

Less than a week later, the vehicle was stolen – but in anticipation of theft, the car owner had fitted an AirTag to the Hyundai to track its movement. AirTags using Apple’s Find My Network can use nearby devices to broadcast their location.

The owner saw the thieves steal the car on security camera and set out to track his car to a nearby address with Memphis police. “If I hadn’t had this AirTag to show me where [the vehicle] was so early this morning, it’s very likely my vehicle could have had thousands of dollars more damage,” he said.

The AirTag has a number of features that prevent it from traveling with someone without their knowledge, which could alert a thief to its presence. For example, if your iPhone detects that an AirTag is traveling with you, it will issue a notification. A similar feature plays an audio alert when the AirTag has been away from its owner for between eight and 24 hours.

While the AirTag isn’t explicitly designed to locate stolen items, instead focusing on locating a misplaced item, the knowledge of being able to at least attempt to track down a stolen item is an added bonus for many AirTag owners. The story contrasts with accounts of criminals using the trackers to aid in car thefts. For more information on Apple’s AirTag, see our dedicated guide.

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