Travel Tech

Passenger Uses Her Apple Watch to Find Luggage Thief

a screenshot of a phone and a map
Written by Charlie

Here is another case of an Apple device helping to find a luggage thief – this passenger used her Apple Watch to find her bag and the thief.

The Apple Find My network has made news many times for travelers, mostly with the super popular AirTags. These enable passengers to find bags that airlines say are missing and, in some cases, to show the police that their bags have been stolen (several times by airline employees or contractors). This time, it was a passenger’s Apple Watch that helped her to track down the luggage thief.

Passenger Uses Apple Watch to Track Luggage Thief

This particular passenger had flown back to her hometown in Florida with Spirit Airlines. She had been waiting for her “small pink hardshell” bag at Ford Lauderdale Airport. In that bag was her MacBook and two Apple Watches.  Spirit had made her check this bag at the gate, which is why her bag had her laptop and watches in it.

After waiting for 2 hours, the airline gave the usual response of “we will get it to you” and she went home. The next day, she had a pink from one of the Apple Watches that had been in her bag. The ping was coming from the home of an airport worker, a man who worked at a shop in the airport.

She went to the home on her own and found the suitcase and called the police. The police warned her that it was dangerous for her to have gone there on her own (which it certainly was!) but they did later find photographs showing he had been rummaging through her bag at the back of the airport shop where he worked. Unfortunately, her belongings were already gone.

The man was arrested and charged and Spirit refunded her as a courtesy, even though they told her there was no evidence that any of their employees had been involved.

Still unexplained is how a shop employee at the airport managed to go take her bag and how many other people may have been involved and if more bags are involved in this.

Moral of the story (besides not going to a suspected thief’s house on your own without cops) – put a device in your carryon bag that syncs with the Apple Find My network, like an AirTag. You never know if you will get separated from your carryon and having a device in it will let you track that bag if it ever gets taken. Best case, your bag doesn’t get taken but you are able to at least find out how close it is to getting to the baggage carousel.


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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • I have what I think is a simple question. Since this incident seems to have happened somewhere in Florida, why did you use a map of San Francisco at the beginning of the post?

  • I know I will remove my laptop and any other valuables and medications from my carry-on if I am forced to check-in my carry-on to save myself the stress of possibly not seeing my needed items with the way things are these days. Have seen someone deplane after we have reached our destination only to not find his gate checked carry-on with his much needed medication inside. How upsetting is that.

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