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Charlotte police bust serial thief with an AirTag

Airtag
Airtag (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Police in Charlotte have caught a serial thief using an AirTag.
  • Javiere Green was busted after stealing a backpack with an AirTag attached.
  • He was tracked to southeast Charlotte and arrested.

Police in Charlotte have busted a serial thief who made the error of stealing a backpack with an AirTag attached.

WRAL.com reports:

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said tracking technology from Apple helped investigators track down a serial thief.The thief stole a backpack that had an Apple Airtag attached to it. Investigators tracked the thief to southeast Charlotte and attempted to arrested Javiere Green.When police arrived at the home where the tracking device said Green was, police said Green jumped into a car and sped off, but he still had the backpack with him. Investigators followed the trail to Fernwood Drive in southeast Charlotte and arrested Javiere Green.

The thief had five previous arrests for offenses including stealing, and now faces a hefty 23 criminal charges including breaking and entering a motor vehicle, grand larceny, and possessing a stolen firearm.

Apple's AirTags rely on the Find-My network generated by millions of best iPhones users to track their location accurately. While many users have found great benefit in recovering lost or stolen goods as a result of the product, there have also been serious concerns raised about privacy, in particular with regard to situations involving domestic abuse and stalking in relationships.

Last month police in Portland were able to track down and apprehend an armed robber in almost identical circumstances after the culprit stole a backpack that had an AirTag attached to it.

Apple rolled out a big update to its AirTags earlier this year, including measures in iOS 15 that should make unwanted trackers much easier to find if a user is alerted to their presence. Apple said in February:

AirTag was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person's property, and we condemn in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products. Unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem, and we took this concern seriously in the design of AirTag.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.