Dude, where’s my car? AirTag responsible for tracking down stolen Subaru
In the latest AirTag adventure helping to solve a real-world problem, Scotty from Chicago shared the story about how his Subaru was stolen. After the police couldn’t do much, Scotty remembered he had hidden an AirTag in his vehicle. Here’s how it all played out…
Scotty shared his stolen car story today on reddit with AirTag swooping in as the hero of the mishap. Scotty calls the experience “one of the most ridiculous days of my life.” Notably, he did admit (at the end) to leaving his car unlocked with the keys inside, but the story is nonetheless quite amazing.
I am a night owl. I went out to get in my car around 3am earlier this week to find my car gone. I’m separated but still friends with my wife, and her younger brother lives with me. He’s also a night owl, so I thought he’d taken the car to McDonald’s or something. I texted him to see if that was the case, and he told me that no, he had not.
My car (a 2010 Subaru Forester) had been stolen.
I did all the normal stuff one should do when your car’s stolen. I called the police and filed a report. They reported the car stolen but didn’t seem optimistic much could be done. Which makes sense, I live in the Chicago suburbs, where there are millions of cars and the police are busy. I start an insurance claim and, very annoyed, just kind of sit down to wallow in pity and frustration with myself and whoever stole my dang car.
Then, Scotty remembered he had an AirTag hidden in his Subaru!
I remembered then, after the dust settled, that I had put a spare AirTag in the sunglasses holder of my car. I’d bought a 4 pack and figured there might be an off chance it could potentially help me find the car. There’s millions of iPhones in Chicagoland too, so I figured the chances of it getting pinged were decently high.
So I marked the AirTag lost. It’s last showed its location as my house at 10:17pm the night before, so I knew my car had been stolen in the previous 5 hours.
Less than 10 minutes later, I got a notification that my car had been found in Northlake, a Chicago suburb about a half hour from me. It was sitting in a Walmart parking lot. Obviously I immediately called 911 again and explained the situation. Police went to check the parking lot but couldn’t find the car.
Then Scotty got more pings…
As I drove to the Walmart, tense and still amped, I got several more pings from the tracker. I knew where it was, exactly.
When I arrived at the parking lot, I drove around with my phone out the window until my bluetooth connected to the tracker. I parked and walked around until I found the tracker by ringing it. It was under a parked car, and I could hear it, but it was rainy and gross out and I didn’t want to lay down in the puddle under the car to get it. So I sat and waited, hoping the car belonged to a customer who would leave.
After a half hour or so I got bored of waiting and just decided to go home, defeated, and hope insurance would go smoothly. I thought I’d still call the investigating officer and tell him I knew the car had been in the parking lot and see if he’d pull Walmart’s security footage. Maybe it would show someone known to them. Who knew.
I sat at the light to leave the Walmart parking lot.
Then I see MY STOLEN CAR TURN RIGHT PAST ME INTO THE PARKING LOT. This can be seen on dash cam footage from my second car, where you can also see me over-excitedly calling the cops.