Authorities in Florida have praised AirTag, which is an Apple tracking device, for the arrest of an airport employee in Florida who has been accused of stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of items from passengers’ luggage.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said 19-year-old Giovanni DeLuca, who is a sub-contractor at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, is facing 2 charges of grand theft. DeLuca was arrested on August 10th after law enforcement were able to use AirTag to locate several of the stolen items in his house.
The Okaloosa County Sherriff’s Office released a statement confirming two complaints made about either luggage not arriving at its destination or having items missing from it.
“In July, a traveler reported her luggage, containing items worth more than $1600, had never arrived at her destination. It was listed as lost/stolen. She says an Apple AirTag in her suitcase last showed as active in the area of Kathy Court in Mary Esther,” they said. “Another traveler reported more than $15,000 dollars in jewelry and other items had been taken from his luggage August 9th.”
DeLuca admitted to stealing the Airtag from the first traveller. Her belongings have not yet been located.
“This arrest is an example of excellent teamwork by our Airport Security Unit, our Investigators, and the Airport to find the person responsible for these thefts and make sure he is held responsible,” Sheriff Eric Aden said.
Apple also released a statement to clarify that their Airtag is not designed to prevent “unwanted tracking.”
“If someone else’s AirTag finds its way into your stuff, your iPhone will notice it’s traveling with you and send you an alert,” Apple says. “After a while, if you still haven’t found it, the AirTag will start playing a sound to let you know it’s there.”
Brian Kelly, who is founder of The Points Guy, spoke about the importance of concealing AirTag’s within your luggage. “I like to hide them, so people don’t even know where they are, so they’re not easily identifiable. You can put them in clothing. That way, if your bag is stolen, it makes it a lot harder to find the tag,” Kelly said.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS
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