Apple AirTags Used To Find Stolen Tools?

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Shaun92

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I recently watched a YouTube video where someone was showing how to use these Apple AirTags to locate tools if they ever got stolen.

Apple Air Tag Link

It’s basically a small button that you can hide in or attach to a toolbox/machine/bike/wife etc and it lets you use the “Find My Phone” feature to locate it.

It seems like such a good, simple idea that if the worst happened (Again) and everything was stolen at least you’ve got a fighting chance to get it back.

Has anyone else done this?
 

Lazurus

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It would depend how accurate they are I know some of the mobile triangulations can be 100`s of meters out - would need to be pinpoint accurate for the police to get a warrant for entry and seizure.
 

Inspector

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My friend's home was broken into last fall while she was asleep. The crook among other things, took her recently deceased husband's cell. The crook got into the phone and turned off the location app but a couple days later her daughter found the phone through one of the Google accounts he had. She relayed the location to the police and they went to the mobile home in the trailer park and waited until they could get a search warrant the next morning. They executed the warrant and found the cell and some of the other things he hadn't sold yet. The location accuracy of those devices is very good and the authorities will have no problem going straight to the device or in the OPs case, the Apple Air Tag. As long as the tag is hidden in a place they wouldn't find while looking for engraved numbers etc or shielded by metal, the chance of recovering the tool should be good. Certainly worth considering over letting your Festool stuff disappear for sure.

Pete
 

Droogs

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They work, there have been a few cases of them being used by stalkers to keep tabs on people and have been used by some of the Ukrainian farmers to prove to John Deere that their tractors have been half inched by the Ruskkis and have had JD then then disable all the software on the bit of kit making it just scrap. Apparently around 150 Millions worth so far.
 

flh801978

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I have 4 of the air tags
One on my keys
One in my toolbox which is kept in the car
One in the car itself
And one in my camera bag
They work great and whilst testing locate within metres
Then you can make them make a sound to home in on them
The on board battery lasts a year or so

A canny thief though would likely know that he has one in his haul and could find it and disable it
 

Richard_C

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It seems like a good idea .... but

Stalking as mentioned above is an increasing worry so there are now apps which alert you to an airtag which is not yours, plus some beep if away from their owner.

The apps that are helpful to victims of stalking also means a thief can easily find airtags so rather defeats the purpose. Good to find something that you have lost but maybe less effective for something deliberately stolen. If I were a thief and found an airtag I wouldn't destroy it, I would drop it on the bus or in a passing bin lorry or something to misdirect the person seeking it.

This Washingto Post article covers the ground fairly well but there are plenty more out there.

 

Shaun92

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They are accurate to within a meter or so, I’m going to get a pack but I’ll make sure they are well hidden wherever they end up
 

Steve_Scott

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The main problem is the tag will likely “lock” onto the thief’s phone (assuming they have an iphone) and they’ll then get a warning that the tag is following them. I don’t know how quickly this occurs but as other have pointed out, it’s an anti stalking feature that basically prevents it from becoming a stolen goods recovery tool!
 

John Brown

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When I was considering a tracker device of some sort on my bike a few years back, I gained the impression, from stuff I read online, that the police were extremely unlikely to act upon tracker based "evidence". It was a few years back, as I say, so maybe things have changed.
 

DBC

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The burger van - its really a caravan I suppose - I sometimes go to has been stolen twice in the past 5 years or so. Both times they got it back using this device or something similar. Apparently burger vans get stolen all the time.
 

Mousekey

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I guess it is all about reducing risk. While a clever thief could circumvent the air tag most are opportunist and not so clever and probably not really expecting tracking devices hidden in items. I have one on keys in case I lose them but also one hidden in a camera bag. Of course the thief will ditch the bag fairly quickly but it may give some help. Also potentially good when the airline does not know where your bag is!
 

GuitardoctorW7

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As I understand it the tag doesn't show up on the thief's phone or any other devices apart from the owner of the said tag. It will use local bluetooth anonymously to alert the owner where the item is in the "Find My" app. Batteries last a year, I've put one in all of my expensive guitars in places you wouldn't think to look. I'm impressed thus far just hope I don't need to use one in anger.
 

Thingybob

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The burger van - its really a caravan I suppose - I sometimes go to has been stolen twice in the past 5 years or so. Both times they got it back using this device or something similar. Apparently burger vans get stolen all the time.
Well they are classed as takaways
 

EvaBeaver

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All great in theory but it needs an iPhone with Bluetooth turned on within range ( less than 10m) to report it's location. Forget it for handtools as a blind man would spot the tag glued on but you may get lucky with it buried inside larger items.
 

woodieallen

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My friend's home was broken into last fall while she was asleep. The crook among other things, took her recently deceased husband's cell. The crook got into the phone and turned off the location app but a couple days later her daughter found the phone through one of the Google accounts he had. She relayed the location to the police and they went to the mobile home in the trailer park and waited until they could get a search warrant the next morning. They executed the warrant and found the cell and some of the other things he hadn't sold yet. The location accuracy of those devices is very good and the authorities will have no problem going straight to the device or in the OPs case, the Apple Air Tag. As long as the tag is hidden in a place they wouldn't find while looking for engraved numbers etc or shielded by metal, the chance of recovering the tool should be good. Certainly worth considering over letting your Festool stuff disappear for sure.

Pete
Good news. Great police. Oops...just seen where you live. Ours couldn't give a flyin' f*rt.
 

woodieallen

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They work, there have been a few cases of them being used by stalkers to keep tabs on people and have been used by some of the Ukrainian farmers to prove to John Deere that their tractors have been half inched by the Ruskkis and have had JD then then disable all the software on the bit of kit making it just scrap. Apparently around 150 Millions worth so far.
Thank you....thank you...thank you. That made my day :)
 

woodieallen

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When I was considering a tracker device of some sort on my bike a few years back, I gained the impression, from stuff I read online, that the police were extremely unlikely to act upon tracker based "evidence". It was a few years back, as I say, so maybe things have changed.
Don't hold your breath. Remember...rule No 1 of the police....minimise the workload.
 

morqthana

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Don't hold your breath. Remember...rule No 1 of the police....minimise the workload.
In that case..

When I was considering a tracker device of some sort on my bike a few years back, I gained the impression, from stuff I read online, that the police were extremely unlikely to act upon tracker based "evidence". It was a few years back, as I say, so maybe things have changed.
Tell them that they can come with you when you go to retrieve your bike or they can come along after you've had to go without them but with an axe to compensate.
 
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