A stolen pair of AirPods and Find My combined to initiate a high-speed chase that ended in the arrest of two people connected to a string of auto burglaries in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Berkeley police arrested a man and woman earlier in July in connection with an investigation of auto burglaries in cities across the San Francisco area, Berkeleyside reported Thursday.
Authorities tracked the man and woman down after a police sergeant in Oakland used Find My location tracking from a pair of stolen AirPods, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.
Using those pings, the sergeant found the vehicle parked behind a Walgreens parking lot. The occupants of the vehicle were reportedly “discarding property,” and the officer recognized the car as the one involved in the recent auto burglaries.
The Alameda County sheriff’s office airplane, which had originally begun to follow the suspect vehicle in Oakland, ultimately helped lead Berkeley police to that car and its two occupants, authorities say.
Airplane footage also helped police in Berkeley confirm that a gun discovered over the weekend by a Cornell Avenue resident had been discarded by the suspects, authorities say. The gun was loaded and had an extended magazine, according to BPD.
The suspects fled from an attempted stop in Oakland. The chase led police through multiple cities, including Oakland, San Leandro, Richmond, Albany, and Berkeley. Police eventually found the suspects in Berkeley after they abandoned the Audi they were driving.
This is not the first time that a stolen pair of AirPods has led to bad guys being tracked and caught. In May of this year, Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel was robbed by thieves that grabbed his backpack from his car when he stopped at a Barcelona hotel. The backpack contained Vettel’s AirPods, so he used the Find My app to track the thieves.
Vettel grabbed an electric scooter, opened the Find My app on his iPhone, and began tracking down the AirPods. Police late joined the merry chase, while urging Vettel to allow them to handle it. Eventually, the F1 driver was led to a haberdashery, where the AirPods were discovered in a vase of flowers in a shop display. Evidently, the crooks were hip to how AirPods could be tracked.