AirTags help solve a mystery of stolen baskets in Ireland — a super-sleuth WhatsApp community traces trackers back to the culprit

AirTag on keychain
(Image credit: Future)

AirTags managed to help a local community in Ireland by tracking six stolen hanging plant baskets to a local address, which led to an arrest in January.

As reported by The Irish Mirror, Police Sergeant Pat Lyons told Judge Mary Dorgan that a number of baskets had been previously stolen, so AirTags had been placed into some new ones. Then, between May 29 and May 31 2023, these six hanging baskets and flowers, with a total value of €180/$195, were also stolen from Inch, a small village in County Cork, Ireland.

A local WhatsApp community was able to track the AirTags to an address in Carrigaline in County Cork, Ireland, which led to the arrest of a Mary O’Driscoll. A warrant was then issued to search the property, whereby the six baskets were found at her home.

O’Driscoll is now being prosecuted for possession of these hanging plant baskets. A date for the court case will be decided on May 21.

Saved by the AirTags — iMore’s take

Apple’s small disc-like trackers have been known to help — and hinder — many since debuting in 2021. For example, one individual managed to find his luggage when two airlines couldn’t, but there have also been reports of others using AirTags to stalk ex-partners, something that Apple has been trying to reduce by proposing new industry standards with Google.

I have an AirTag attached to my house keys as I always manage to misplace them. I can pinpoint the exact place of where I last left them, even if they’ve mysteriously gone off on an adventure. Being able to load up the Find My app on my iPhone to discover where they’ve ended up has always felt satisfying — and relieving — especially when the app flashes ‘Here!’ in its bright green font.

It’s no surprise then, that local communities, like those in Ireland, are using AirTags to help solve crimes that almost rival famous TV detectives such as Columbo and Monk. These trackers can be incredibly useful when used with good intentions, and it’s cases like these that only prove that further.

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Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.