Apple Watch Location Tracking Used in $500,000 Cash Heist
According to The New York Post, a robbery crew from New York City used an Apple Watch to steal $500,000 USD in cash from a known criminal in January, 2020. Documents filed by federal prosecutors on Tuesday made details of the case public for the very first time.
The alleged leader of the Hudson Valley crew, 30-year-old Darren Lindsay, purchased an Apple Watch and linked it to his AT&T account. The crew then planted the Apple Watch under the bumper of a known drug-runner’s car, expecting the criminal to be flush with cash.
The crew used location data from the Apple Watch to tail the unidentified drug-runner from Orange County to a hotel parking lot in Hartford, Connecticut.
Apple users can use the Find My app to track the location of their devices, based on internet connections for last known locations. In this case, the Apple Watch cellular model was using an AT&T data signal.
Thus, the suspect was able to see their Apple Watch location in near real-time. This method is better than using an AirTag, which has built-in protections to notify iOS users that an unknown AirTag may be following them.
“All of this information is supported by detailed cell-site location data, including [from] his Apple Watch and the phones of the defendant,” wrote prosecutors in the court documents.
Finding the car empty, the suspects cornered the victim the next day, forcing him into their own car. A handgun in Lindsay’s possession went off twice during the struggle, but fortunately, no one was hit.
According to prosecutors, the suspects proceeded to assault the victim, and take away his phone, wallet, and the key to his hotel room. One of the members, a woman named Indigo Grant, then accessed the victim’s hotel room and stole a bag stuffed with $500,000 USD in cash.
The crew then made their way back to Middletown, New York, where they divided up the loot and even posed for pictures with the stolen money, as seen below:
Members of the heist crew were later arrested and indicted in July for a series of robberies from 2019 to 2020, including the one in question. Lindsay pleaded not guilty to the charges, and the case has been at trial since.