HomeNewsTexan Uses Apple AirTags to Track Down Stolen Truck, Kills Alleged Thief

Texan Uses Apple AirTags to Track Down Stolen Truck, Kills Alleged Thief

by TK Sanders

San Antonio police said a man tracked down another man who stole his truck thanks to Apple AirTags, and then killed him.

The San Antonio Police Department said the vigilante justice happened on Wednesday at a shopping center, according to local news station KHOU.

The truck’s rightful owner used his Apple AirTag tracking program on his phone to follow the truck and eventually confront the alleged thief.

The man reported the vehicle stolen around 1 p.m. on Wednesday out of a home in north San Antonio. Police said the truck owner followed the vehicle nearly 20 miles before confronting the alleged thief.

Officials also added that the shooting victim did not know that the tracking device was inside the car.

At the scene of the shooting, authorities found multiple bullet casings and two cars with broken windows. The shooter has not been charged with a crime so far.

Speaking to media, police officer Nick Soliz urged people to call police if their car is stolen. “If your vehicle is stolen, please do not take matters into your own hands like this,” Soliz said. “It’s never safe as you can see by this incident.”

A spokesperson for Apple said that it works with law enforcement to track down AirTags used for criminal purposes; but that Apple in no way condones any sort of vigilante justice.

Apple AirTags are commonly used to find missing luggage or personal products, like wallets

“AirTags were designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person’s property. We condemn in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products,” the company reiterated.

“Unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem, and we took this concern seriously in the design of AirTag. It’s why the Find My Network is built with privacy in mind. And it uses end-to-end encryption. It’s why we innovated with the first-ever proactive system to alert you of unwanted tracking. We hope this starts an industry trend for others to also provide these sorts of proactive warnings in their products,” the spokesperson said.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reported that over 1 million vehicles were stolen in 2022. That’s a 7 percent increase over 2021. And the number surpassed 1 million for the first time since 2008. California and Texas had the most reported stolen vehicles. And Illinois had the largest increase, estimated at 35 percent between 2021 and 2022.

Bakersfield, CA, topped the 2022 list for the third year in a row, with the highest automobile theft rate in the U.S., according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau Hot Spots Report. The theft rate in Bakersfield in 2021 was 1,023.68 vehicles stolen per 100,000 residents, a 13 percent increase over 2020.