Police use AirPods to track stolen car

AirPods 2 with charging case
AirPods 2 with charging case (Image credit: iMore / Future)

We've heard plenty of stories about law enforcement using AirTags to track down a number of stolen items including cars, backpacks, and more. But, have you heard about the police using AirPods to track down auto burglars? Now you have.

As reported by Berkleyside, Berkeley police Lt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County sheriff’s office told the press that a police sergeant in Oakland was investigating a series of auto burglaries and used "pings from a pair of recently stolen Airpods” to locate a pair of suspects in a vehicle parked behind a Walgreens.

When the police attempted to stop the suspects, they fled in the car which resulted in a long chase through multiple cities in the Bay Area including Oakland, San Leandro, Richmond, Albany, and Berkeley.

The Alameda County sheriff's office plane followed the entire chase, which you can conveniently watch on YouTube below:

Wait, the cops used AirPods to track the suspects?

While you may be familiar with people hiding AirTags in the car so it can be tracked by them and the police in case it is stolen, AirPods are a lesser-known tracker. However, AirPods can also serve that role.

Apple recently updated AirPods and added the product to the Find My app so users can try and find their lost or stolen AirPods. For third-generation AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max, you can actually see their updated location in the Find My app for up to 24 hours. While the report does not specify, there's a good chance that's what enabled the police to hone in on the suspect's location.

That said, you shouldn't use AirPods over AirTags to track your items. For one thing, that's a much more expensive tracker. AirTags cost a fraction of what AirPods do. Also, they're purpose-built for item tracking, featuring water resistance and much longer battery life so that it can use Apple's Find My network for much longer to keep your items' location up to date.

Thankfully, no one was hurt in the car chase and only one vehicle was damaged.

If you want to track your items and are looking for some accessories to do so, check out our list of the Best Accessories for AirTag 2022

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.