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These bumbling thieves didn’t realize a stolen Apple Watch would lead cops right to them

Published Dec 6th, 2019 9:08AM EST
Apple Watch
Image: JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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If you’re going to snatch somebody’s Apple Watch, don’t do what this pair of bumbling alleged thieves in California did and keep it stashed where you live.

Apple Watches come with so many tools and features that help you do everything from perform normal tasks as you go about your day to find ways you can improve your health, and there’s even a pretty easy way to find your watch if you happen to ever lose it. Or, in this case, if you suspect it might have been stolen — in which case the location can be tracked, and a sound emitted to let anyone around know the watch has been located.

Earlier this week, according to a report from the Fox affiliate in Roseville, Calif., two men were arrested after investigators tracked down a stolen Apple Watch which they determined to be in the vicinity of a particular parking lot in the city. A motorhome was found in the parking lot, inside of which were the two alleged thieves, a 21-year-old and a 38-year-old — both of whom were on probation.

According to the report, the owner of the stolen Apple Watch pinged it and caused it to make a sound while police were scouring the motorhome, which helped officers easily find it hidden in a cabinet inside. The two men were then arrested and booked into the local jail on charges including possession of stolen property as well as of a controlled substance.

The same kind of ping that helped recover this watch can also be done if you happened to have misplaced or lost your iPhone. To ping an Apple Watch, it needs to have an active internet connection. If you launch the Find My iPhone app on another device and sign in to iCloud, you can then choose your Apple Watch from the list of available devices you’re shown. You’ll see the watch — again, if it’s connected to the internet — shown on a map with its current location, and you can also tap a button that will emit a sound from the watch, wherever it is.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.