Apple AirTag Helps Catch Florida Airport Suitcase Thief

The airline subcontractor stole at least $16,000 worth of personal items from suitcases over the past month.

I’ve been working at PCMag since November 2016, covering all areas of technology and video game news. Before that I spent nearly 15 years working at as a writer and editor. I also spent the first six years after leaving university as a professional game designer working with Disney, Games Workshop, 20th Century Fox, and Vivendi.

Apple AirTag Helps Catch Florida Airport Suitcase Thief Image

(Credit: Unsplash/Daniel Romero)

Apple’s AirTags are designed to stop you losing your stuff, but it turns out they are really useful for catching thieves, too.

As ABC7 reports (Opens in a new window) , police in Florida managed to track down a thief who had been stealing from suitcases at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport thanks to an AirTag.

A passenger dropped one of the tracking devices into her suitcase (alongside personal items worth $1,600) before flying out of the airport last month, but the suitcase never arrived at her destination. A quick check of her Find My app showed the AirTag was located roughly 11 miles away from the airport, which is information she duly passed on to local police in Florida.

It’s unclear why the police didn’t track down the thief then and there, but a few weeks later a second passenger reported jewelry and other items worth $15,000 were missing from his suitcase after passing through the same airport.

At this point, the police cross-referenced the location the AirTag had reported with the home addresses of airport workers. Sure enough they got a match, and a 19-year-old airline subcontractor named Giovanni De Luca was arrested after some of the stolen items were found at his home. It seems as though De Luca didn’t understand how the AirTag worked as he admitted taking and keeping the tracker. Unfortunately, that first victim’s personal belongings haven’t been recovered yet.

China Says It Discovered a New Lunar Mineral

I’ve been writing about tech, including everything from privacy and security to consumer electronics and startups, since 2011 for a variety of publications.

China Says It Discovered a New Lunar Mineral Image

(Ma Jianbing/VCG via Getty Images)

China has reportedly discovered a new lunar mineral in samples retrieved from the moon in 2020.

The official Xinhua News Agency reports (Opens in a new window) that the mineral, Changesite-(Y), was jointly revealed by the China National Space Administration and China Atomic Energy Authority on Sept. 9 after it was discovered by a subsidiary of the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).

South China Morning Post reports (Opens in a new window) that researchers from the Beijing Research Institute of Uranium Geology "isolated a single crystalline particle of the material from more than 140,000 lunar particles using hi-tech processes, including X-ray diffraction," per an official with the CNNC.

Xinhua describes Changesite-(Y) as "a kind of colorless transparent columnar crystal" that was "discovered from an analysis of lunar basalt particles" collected by the Chang’e-5 mission in 2020. It has reportedly been recognized as a new mineral by the International Mineralogical Association.

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The discovery of Changesite-(Y) makes China the third country—after the US and Russia—to find a new mineral on the moon. SCMP reports that it’s the sixth lunar mineral to be discovered.

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