Robbers use Apple Watch to tail their victim before taking $500,000 in cash

Google Maps on Apple Watch with iPhone
Google Maps on Apple Watch with iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • A group of robbers reportedly used an Apple Watch to track their mark before making away with $500,000.
  • An Apple Watch was hidden in the victim's car so the robbers could follow its location.

A group of robbers reportedly used an Apple Watch to track their target before making away with $500,000 in cash. The robbery took place in Hartford, Connecticut in 2020 but was only recently made public.

According to the New York Post report, a group of robbers identified someone they believed to be a drug runner flush with cash. As it turns out, they were right — and after stealing a key to his hotel room they were able to walk out with half a million in cash. And the whole thing was made possible by putting an Apple Watch under the victim's bumper.

The seven-person crew based in the Hudson Valley pulled off the major score in January 2020 after their alleged leader, 30-year-old [robber], bought an Apple Watch and linked it to his AT&T account, according to federal prosecutors in papers filed Tuesday.The thieves put the watch underneath the bumper of a car that belonged to a drug-runner they suspected was flush with cash, the documents say.

At the time of the robbery, an Apple Watch was the most obvious choice for the robbers because it was small, light, and easy to conceal. Now, people are concerned that devices like AirTag can be used for a similar purpose. AirTag wasn't available when this all went down, of course.

Anyone looking to bag an Apple Watch of their own should probably hang fire for Apple Watch Series 7, set to be announced within weeks. Maybe bag yourself an AirTag bargain while you wait!

Curious how the rest of the $500,000 heist went down? The full New York Post article has all the details.

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.