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AirTag helps police track and arrest robbery suspect

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Police in Portland were given a technological assist by Apple’s AirTag, after an armed robber unknowingly picked up the tracking device during a second theft.

An armed robbery in the 100 Block of Northwest Broadway in Portland, Oregon on Thursday involved the robbery of a store. The man, identified by police as Justin Johnston, used a gun to demand money from a staff member at the store, and took the victim’s cellphone and wallet.

The police were able to use the phone to the area of Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Pine Street, reports KATU2, seeing via surveillance video that he entered and left the Embassy Suites Hotel. Later in the day, hotel security contacted the police to say the suspect had returned to the hotel.

On attempting to apprehend the suspect, he ran into the hotel and evaded capture, before activating the fire alarm. In searches, police discovered a fake pistol located in the fire escape.

In a stroke of luck, police were then informed by a guest at the hotel that someone broke into his room and took items from it, including a “distinct backpack” that had an AirTag attached to it.

Police used the AirTag to track down the suspect into North Portland, which led to a further chase before Johnson was caught.

Johnson has been charged with robbery in the second degree, as well as burglary in the first degree.

The story is the latest where AirTag was used in an extremely helpful way. On May 9, AirTag helped with the recovery of photography equipment valued at $7,000 in Australia.

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