$29 AirTag helps photographer find $7,000 in stolen hardware

Airtag Hero
Airtag Hero (Image credit: Karen S. Freeman / iMore)

What you need to know

  • An Australian man was able to recover stolen items thanks to AirTags.
  • AirTags were attached to a laptop bag and camera, allowing them to be located.
  • The items were stolen from the man's car.

Apple's AirTag has helped an Australian photographer get his hands on $7,000 of stolen camera gear that was nabbed from his car while parked at a hotel.

While it's fair to say that AirTags have found themselves on the receiving end of some bad press — they've been used to stalk people and property — it's important to remember that they can be invaluable, too. According to local news, Sydney resident Graham Tait was on vacation in South Australia when the gear what taken from his car. A laptop bag and camera were stolen — both had AirTags.

"I used the Find My app and tracked the missing items down to a room in the hotel we are staying in," the man told 9News.

When he opened the Apple "Find My" app, the location of those items was revealed, thanks to either the iPhones of people who passed by the room, or the iPhone of the alleged thief themselves.

Upon closer inspection not only were the camera and laptop bag found, but other items were also located including a wallet, GoPro, and more.

Apple's AirTag uses the FindMy network to locate things. That network uses iPhones as the infrastructure, meaning anytime an AirTag is near an iPhone its location is sent to Apple. That's what makes AirTags so accurate — the millions upon millions of iPhones around the world. There's a good chance anything that's lost or stolen is near one!

Buying an AirTag is only half the job, however. You're going to need an AirTag accessory to attach it to whatever you want to keep safe, like a bag, wallet, or keys for example. Some companies even make dog collars that can house an AirTag, although Apple says that they aren't designed for such uses.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.