A United Kingdom man has been sentenced to a nine-week prison sentence for using an Apple AirTag to tack his ex-girlfriend’s vehicle.
As reported by the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper, Christopher Paul Trotman, 41, harassed his ex with constant phone calls and questions, before purchasing an AirTag and gluing it to her rear bumper to track her every movements. Trotman and the ex-girlfriend were in what she described as a “controlling” relationship for over ten years before their breakup in August 2020
The ex-girlfriend purchased an iPhone in March 2o22, and began receiving notifications on her device, offering to connect to the AirTag. The ex did not know what an AirTag was, so she ignored it. Trotman would reportedly then question her about her whereabouts on nights out, while he knew her exact location.
When the ex-girlfriend’s daughter also received an AirTag notification on her iPhone, the vehicle was searched and the tracker was found in the car’s rear bumper. While the Daily Mail didn’t describe how they did it, police used the same AirTag to track down Trotman.
Trotman initially claimed “this is a joke,” before admitting, “I did track her, I still love her.”
Trotman was interviewed by police and later released on bail, but was then re-arrested after he allegedly intimidated a witness. He was remanded into custody, and though the intimidation charge was later dropped, the time he served means he was due to be released immediately after sentencing.
Trotman’s lawyer says that his client now believes the stalking to have been “misguided in the extreme.”
This is not the first time that folks have been tracked without their knowledge by someone using an AirTag.
In June 2022, an Indianapolis man was murdered by being run over repeatedly by a vehicle allegedly driven by his girlfriend. The girlfriend, Gaylyn Morris, is said to have used an Apple AirTag to track her boyfriend, Andre Smith, to a bar where she saw him with another woman.
In May 2022, a Columbia, Tennessee family says their trip to Disney World was ruined after they discovered that someone may have used an Apple AirTag to stalk them during their activities at the Florida amusement park.
However, not all AirTag tracking stories include a bad guy tracking a victim. Police in Charlotte, NC, and Portland, Oregon have both recently recovered items, tracking them with an AirTag.