AirTag credited with helping investigators locate $1.1M in cash stolen from armored truck

Home » AirTag credited with helping investigators locate $1.1M in cash stolen from armored truck
Find AirTags with low batteries? A low-tech feature I'd like to see

Apple’s AirTag item tracker is once again in the news, this time for its role in helping investigators track down two brothers accused of stealing $1.1 million in a Brinks armored truck robbery. New court documents this week revealed that the AirTag was hidden in one of the bins of money…

The two brothers were initially charged for their role in this robbery last December. The two are accused of stealing over $1 million “from an armored truck and automated teller machine” in Chicago on Halloween.

The initial announcement from the United States Attorney’s Office in December explained the details of the robbery:

According to the indictment and criminal complaints filed in the case, the robbery occurred shortly after 10:45 a.m. on Oct. 31, 2022, while a Brink’s security courier was refilling an ATM at a bank in the 16700 block of Torrence Avenue in Lansing. Robbers brandished handguns and stole a gun and a bag of money from the courier, as well as cash from the ATM, the charges allege. They then forcibly dragged the courier into the armored truck and ordered her to open inner compartments and hand over bags of money, the charges allege. The robbers stole approximately $121,824 from the courier and ATM, and approximately $904,132 from the armored truck.

According to a new local Chicago news report from WGN, an AirTag ultimately played a role in the two brothers being captured. Witnesses revealed that there was a gray Nissan parked near the armored truck that the two brothers used when initially arriving at the scene.

From there, the suspects swapped vehicles and moved the money into a Jeep owned by a third man who was not initially charged alongside the brothers. In a new criminal complaint filed this week, authorities recommended that this man also be charged for his role.

The newly released documents also revealed an AirTag hidden inside one of the bins of the stolen money. Brinks is said to have contacted the federal investigators and informed them of the AirTag, which was “providing live updates on the location of the device.”

“It was about an hour from the time of the robbery until the tracking device was showing at the home” of the suspects, the report says.

“They were created for lost goods and Apple doesn’t advertise them being used for recovering stolen items, but they’re certainly being used for that more and more,” said retired FBI agent and CEO of Veracity IIR, Doug Kouns.

“Perhaps the owner of that particular branch of the company was safeguarding themselves by randomly throwing an AirTag in every so many bags or bins,” Kouns said, “and in this case it worked out.”

This is only the latest example we’ve seen of AirTags being used for a lot more than tracking lost keys and backpacks. Most recently, New York City announced that it was handing out 500 free AirTags as part of its efforts to crack down on stolen cars in the Bronx.

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