Fortunately for the young e-bike enthusiast, the vehicle was equipped with an AirTag, so the owner could locate it in real-time. The Southwest Sheriff's Station says in a Facebook post that the bike's owner contacted the police, so the CORE (Community Outreach Resources and Engagement) team rapidly started the search for the vehicle.
It didn't take long until the deputies located the e-bike, based on information from the AirTag, at a home on Wildwood Court. However, they couldn't just break into the house, as they needed a warrant. A few hours later, they received the go-ahead.
The AirTag was right. They found the e-bike and two suspects, one believed to be the individual who ran away with the vehicle from the Walmart store. As a bonus, the police officers also discovered several illegal substances, so the two suspects were taken into custody. They were released on a $5,000 bond but are set to appear in court on October 11.
AirTags have become must-have devices for vehicle owners, but the rapid police response makes a huge difference in every case. Owners should contact law enforcement as fast as possible, as the sooner the police begin the investigation, the bigger the chances to recover the stolen goods. Police also recommend AirTag owners report the theft when they notice the vehicle missing.
The reason is as simple as it could be: AirTags are fitted with anti-stalking protections, generating notifications to nearby smartphones to warn of its presence. A thief carrying an iPhone could receive a notification, knowing that an AirTag is moving with them, so their location is tracked. Without the police on their tail, thieves have enough time to search for and eventually find the AirTag. Disabling the device is easy, as most thieves throw it outside the window or remove the battery.
AirTags connect to the Find My network, using nearby iPhones to communicate its location to the master device. It doesn't come with built-in Internet access but uses smartphones in its proximity to broadcast coordinates. Thanks to its small form factor, the AirTag can be planted virtually anywhere, including on bikes and e-bikes, where it's nearly impossible to detect.
If you're looking for a good place to hide an AirTag in your car, my tutorial here includes several spots where a thief would have a hard time looking for the tracker.