Stolen campaign poster? Hidden AirTags are the new defense.

Stolen campaign poster? Hidden AirTags are the new defense.

Share this post
Listen to this article
A hand holding an Apple AirTag
Over thirty plaintiffs have joined a class action lawsuit that Apple AirTags helped facilitate stalking.

  • People are hiding AirTags in campaign posters to stop thieves, The Wall Street Journal reports.
  • The tracking devices are helping recover signs and charge those who took them.
  • In some cases, those charged included political opponents, WSJ said.

It’s a political tale as old as time: put up a campaign poster in your yard, and thieves come to snatch it.

But according to The Wall Street Journal, those fed up with front lawn looting are embracing a modern solution.

Apple’s geo-tracking AirTag devices are helping owners find their signs — and sometimes, even the people who stole them.

The practice has already led to charges. In one example cited by the outlet, Florida politician John Dittmore decided to hide the coin-sized gadget on one of his posters after waking up to a number of thefts in May.

READ ALSO  Maryland town suspends its entire police force, leaving residents to wonder why

When this sign was taken overnight, the Brevard County Commission candidate tracked the AirTag’s pings to a pickup truck eight miles away. Police questioned two teens, and they were charged with criminal mischief and the theft of nine signs.

Including the poster stands that were also taken, the stolen property had a total value of over $1,100, WSJ said.

In other cited cases, stolen signs don’t end up with teens, but in the homes of electoral opponents.

After Chris Torre became the victim of poster snatching, AirTags led him to the residence of Renee Rountree, the Journal said. Both were running for a seat on the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors in Virginia.

Her son-in-law was charged with a misdemeanor for stealing the property, while Rountree faced a misdemeanor for receiving stolen goods. In a December trial, she noted plans to return the signs. Rountree has since been ordered to 250 hours of community service.

READ ALSO  O.J. Simpson dead at 76

“I would like to think that this will have a huge deterrent effect,” the trial’s judge said in the court’s transcript, quoted by WSJ.

Though the judge was speaking of Rountree, the point outlines another big appeal of AirTags: if thieves know to suspect that a device might be planted on a poster, they might be less inclined to take it.

“It’s a lot like when cops mark themselves on Waze,” New Jersey deputy mayor Vinny Panico, who tracked a lost poster to a local committeeman’s house, told the outlet: “If that slows people down, that slows people down.”

Still, AirTags don’t solve everything. Lawn posters are still exposed to destruction, with some vandals going as far as to drive over signs they don’t like.

READ ALSO  Six Russian ISIS terror suspects arrested in massive sting operation in three cities across the US

But the technology’s capabilities have recouped more than just lawn signs. These devices keep track of lost wallets and airline baggage — sometimes when the airline itself can’t find it — or let parents keep tabs on their kids.

But criticism has also mounted against the $29 geo-trackers, over fears that they provide a cheap tool for stalkers or abusers. A lawsuit against Apple was filed in 2022 — and in March, a judge denied the firm’s motion to dismiss the case.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Go to Source

Leave Your Comment