Family track stolen luggage to thief’s house using Apple AirTag

The handy device also helped find another traveller’s belongings

Katie Hawkinson
Friday 29 December 2023 10:45 GMT
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This holiday season, thousands waited with bated breath at baggage carousels in airports around the world waiting to see if their luggage would come around, hoping their long travel day would not end in a conversation with an airline agent and a trip to the store.

The Gavino family of South Carolina was no exception. The weekend before Christmas, the family was on their way to enjoy the North Carolina mountains when one of their bags never arrived at their destination, they told Queen City News.

But thanks to some handy technology and a bit of patience, they were soon reunited with their bag — and they didn’t even have to wait on hold with their airline’s customer service.

Charlotte Gavino told the outlet she happened to buy Apple AirTags — which are small trackers that can be attached to personal items and tracked on an Apple device — just one day before her family set out for their holiday vacation.

Ms Gavino told the outlet she placed one in her parents’ luggage the morning of their flight, thinking it would be handy if the blog got lost. When their bag never arrived on the baggage carousel on 22 December, she tracked the AirTag and discovered it was on its way to a nearby residential area.

Apple AirTags are small trackers that can be attached to personal items and tracked on an Apple device (Getty Images)

“Throughout the entire trip it kept showing up around Gastonia, and South Carolina,” Ms Gavino told Queen City News.

That afternoon, the family pursued the AirTag, but it eventually stopped showing an exact location, she told the outlet. But on Christmas day, an address appeared — and the family made their way there.

Ms Gavino called the police, who found their luggage inside the home, though there were apparently many items missing. The AirTag not only saved the Gavino family’s luggage but also another suitcase found in the home that belonged to a second victim.

The suspect now faces multiple charges, including theft and drug possession, according to Queen City News.

“I wanted justice,” said Ms Gavino.

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