After police find no evidence of AirTag in robbery, man dismantles car to locate it

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Kevin Johnson knew it was a drastic move, but the Nashville man was determined to find out if an Apple AirTag had really been used to steal his car.

“I took the back door apart myself,” Johnson said.

Johnson took the plunge after Metro police told News4 Investigates they don’t believe an Apple AirTag was used to steal his car, although he heard the device ping and received warnings from his iPhone warning him that someone was following him.

A Metro Police spokeswoman wrote in an email to News4 Investigates,

“Our auto theft unit had no evidence to suggest an air tag was used in this case.”

Even after Johnson got his stolen car back, he kept getting the alert on his iPhone that someone was following him.

Johnson found a small crack in the weatherstripping where he suspected an AirTag might have been slipped through his door.

He watched a YouTube video on how to take apart a car door and took his own apart to look inside.

“At first I put my hand in and dug through the door and couldn’t find it,” Johnson said.

Johnson also recorded his search on his phone.

The video shows on a small ledge inside the door a small circular shape: an Apple AirTag.

“It was a good feeling to find him and get him out of the car,” Johnson said.

Once Johnson found it, he knew he could press it to his phone, revealing the AirTag’s serial number, which he then gave to police who said he would work with it. Apple to confirm who owns it.

“At first it was a bit frustrating, but I also understand that it’s a bit outside the (Metropolitan Police) jurisdiction to dismantle a car,” Johnson said.

News4 Investigates has requested an interview with the Metro Police three times, but has been refused each time.

When asked why News4 Investigates’ requests were denied, a spokeswoman wrote:

“Our Oversight and Investigation Support Unit said it is continuing to research AirTag technology.”

Johnson said he wanted to know if the man accused of stealing his car was also responsible for slipping the AirTag inside.

“If it’s not them, then we would like to know who it was and why they were stalking us,” Johnson said.

News4 investigators asked Metro Police if people suspect an AirTag has been slipped into their car, is it civilians to dismantle their own cars?

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said at this point they were encouraging people to take their cars to body shops or, ultimately, do what Johnson did: learn how to take a door apart and disassemble it.

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