Someone used an AirTag to track their stolen wallet but there was no happy ending

Airtag Video
Airtag Video (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Someone followed their stolen wallet thanks to an AirTag.
  • The AirTag was retrieved, but without the wallet it was once inside.

Apple's AirTag is a pretty great way to find something when you've lost it, but what about when something has been stolen? After having their wallet stolen, one Redditor set about trying to follow it using the AirTag that was inside. And follow it, they did.

So I was at the gym today, and I foolishly brought my wallet in with me (I usually leave it in the car). Even remember thinking as I entered if I should go back and drop my wallet off in the car, but nope, I decided it'd be fine. Spoiler: it wasn't. My wallet was a Gucci branded wallet with about $100 in cash in it and a couple of credit cards, along with my license. I also had enough space in it to stick an Airtag in there (there's a compartment where it fit easily). I'd initially bought the Airtag as I always lose my things around the house, wallet included.

Once the wallet went missing, the Redditor was able to follow it thanks to the AirTag. But this isn't a story with a happy ending – the AirTag was found, but the wallet wastn't. Turns out the thief was wise to that little white disc.

I was able to see that the wallet had left the gym and was at the next subway station (NYC). So my friend and I went and hopped into my car and started driving towards the Airtag, in the hopes that I'd be able to intercept the person who had it. Admittedly, I figured the chances were super slim, but seeing as the Airtag was moving, I assumed that the thief hadn't noticed or knew what the Airtag was. The culprit eventually switched trains and then the Airtags stopped at a station. Me being the hopeful fool I was, went into the train station, and used the "Find" feature and eventually, I did indeed find the Airtag; just not the wallet. I guess the thief figured out what it was and tossed it into the subway tracks, where it still remains right now.

So there we have it. Turns out an AirTag is pretty great at letting your follow it through the New York subway system. The only problem is thieves know what an AirTag looks like and there's only one outcome once it's found.

Want to try this for yourself? First, please don't get hurt. Second, you really should check out list of the best AirTag deals before you do.

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.