man speaking in car (l) man with AirPod in ear (c) cop walking in driveway (r)

19 STUDIO/Shutterstock @owensimpsontv/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘I can still track them with my phone’: AirPod thief steals $250 headphones from car. It backfires

‘I’m surprised the cops came.’


Phil West


A man who had his AirPods stolen out of his car has a PSA of sorts for thieves: Make sure you turn off the AirPods if you don’t want to be tracked.

The announcement comes from Owen Simpson (@owensimpsontv), a news anchor at KTXS-TV, the ABC affiliate in Abilene, Texas. He posted a TikTok about the theft on Thursday, and it has garnered over 1 million views as of Saturday.

The video starts with Simpson saying, “All right, guys, here’s your daily reminder to not leave valuable stuff in your car.”

@owensimpsontv Someone broke into my car last night and stole my $250 Airpods. Unfortunately for them, I can still track them with my phone👀 #copsoftiktok #fyp #foryoupage ♬ original sound – Owen Simpson

He then revealed, “Someone broke into my car last night, stole my AirPods that I left in there, but they were dumb enough to not turn them off because I tracked them to the location, and I’m right outside their property waiting for the cops to arrive.”

Simpson shows himself staking out the property, then shows a police officer arriving and walking up to the house.

“We have our man on foot headed to the front. See what happens,” he said, teasing a follow-up video.

Simpson posted a second part the same day. In it, he revealed that he had been reunited with his AirPods. The police determined that the AirPods were just tossed into the yard where Simpson tracked them. The theory they came up with was that the thief was looking for drugs and ditched the AirPods upon realizing the case didn’t contain any.

@owensimpsontv Replying to @Ryan messinger ♬ original sound – Owen Simpson

Commenters on the original video provided their thoughts.

“I’m surprised the cops came,” one shared. “They usually say no.”

Another recalled a similar situation: “That’s how I felt when someone stole my iPhone 14 and I just tracked them to their house and got it back.”

Someone else related to the thief: “To be fair idk how to turn off AirPods either,” they said, adding a laughing emoji.

“When the Kia boys [stole] my car I tracked them down with my AirTag,” another shared.

The follow-up video brought additional comments, including a theory on what might have happened.

“They probably got that ‘AirPods moving with you’ message [and] threw them out before you could track them,” one viewer stated; regarding the drug theory, they added, “that looks nothing like a pill bottle.”

Another queried, “Addicts who haven’t heard of pawn shops? I’m skeptical.”

In an email interview with the Daily Dot, Simpson shared his thoughts via email on the video going viral.

“It’s certainly a unique experience to have a video go viral,” he said. “I think we’ve all had something stolen from us at some point in our lives, and we typically never see it again. Maybe that’s why this caught more attention. I was lucky enough to still have an idea of where it was, and everyone likes a happy ending.”

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