A young man who worked as an airline subcontractor decided to help himself to the passenger baggage he was entrusted to handle. Only the witless teenager neglected to find that one suitcase he stole had an Apple AirTag in it, leading police right to his house.
Apple AirTag Leads Police To Home Of Teenage Airport Employee Who Confessed To Stealing Luggage
Police at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) in Florida began an investigation after two passengers reported missing checked baggage. The first incident occurred in July 2022. The first passenger reported that her baggage never arrived and its contents contained $1,600. But she had placed an AirTag in her luggage and her luggage popped up at a residential address in Mary Esther, a small city of 3,500 on the Florida Panhandle.
Just days ago, another passenger reported that over $15,000 worth of jewelry was removed from her checked bag. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office thought there might be a link between the two cases and used an airport employee database to pull up all the employees who lived on or around the street in Mary Esther where the AirTag showed the luggage.
There was only one match: 19-year-old Giovanni De Luca, who works as an “airline subcontractor” at VPS. VPS is served by Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Southwest Airlines. Police knocked on De Luca’s door and he let them in, where they found the missing jewelry.
De Luca confessed to stealing the other bag, though had already purportedly disposed of its contents, and was arrested. He faces two charges of grand theft.
The incident demonstrates the growing importance of tracking devices like Apple AirTags in helping law enforcement to track down your missing items. Thieves are often not all that clever and this dullard apparently did not check the bag for AirTags before taking it home. I now travel with an AirTag in each of my bags and encourage you to do the same.