AirTag saves the day (again) as woman recovers bike from thieves

(Image credit: Apple)

Since the release of AirTags in 2021, there have been countless stories of the tiny white hockey pucks saving lost luggage, finding lost dogs, and even foiling truck theft. Now it looks like a couple in the Netherlands must’ve seen all the success stories of AirTags because they’re the next viral story to showcase why most people should own at least one.

Utrecht — one of the largest cities in the Netherlands, filled with picturesque canals and beautiful greenery. Perfect for a Bike ride. Unfortunately, one bike ride for a resident turned into a nightmare while taking a trip to the gym. When Beatriz Spaltemberg left the gym after working out, she found her bike missing, stolen in the space of an hour. 

Luckily, she had placed an AirTag on her bike due to rising bike theft in the city which meant that she could see the bike cycling away from her location in real-time using the Find My app. Spaltemberg then phoned the police and, accompanied by two officers and her husband, headed cautiously to the stolen bike’s location.

When they arrived, the bike had been locked to a lamppost, and the thief was nowhere in sight. Police in Utrecht are now collecting footage to find the culprit.

Spaltemberg’s husband, William Lacerda, told 9to5Mac, “It all happened in about an hour and a half. The police officer told me that we were very lucky to have an AirTag [on the bike] because bike thefts are common here, and usually, they only make a police report for such situations,” He also emphasized that the AirTag was “very well hidden.”

AirTags — For better or worse

After going on holiday earlier this year and losing my luggage, I’ve become a cheerleader for AirTags, especially considering how well the Precision Tracking works in the Find My app. There’s a whole host of positive use cases for Apple’s tracking devices, yet some have been found to use the white pucks for malice. 

Stalking with AirTags has become a frequent enough issue for Apple and Google to partner up to combat the misuse of Bluetooth tracking devices. Apple continues to update AirTags with new security features that help detect when an unwanted AirTag is following you, and there has even been an update to Android that will detect them as well.

While it’s always advised to remain cautious, AirTags have proven to be far more positive than negative since release, becoming one of those products that you don’t know you need until it’s usually too late.

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.