A Miami-Dade, Florida, police officer installed Apple AirTag to track down his former girlfriend, and IT was Apple's anti-stalking feature that eventually got him suspended, Apple Insider reported.
AirTag tracking previously attracted the attention of a university police officer, and Apple's anti-tracking feature has often been reported to fail. Now, however, those traits have led to a woman discovering she was being followed, and then her ex-boyfriend, a police officer, being relieved of his duty.
Javier Magarin, a 27-year-old patrolman, broke up with an unnamed woman in March 2022, the Miami Herald reported. Hours after he moved out of her home, she heard an "AirTag beep somewhere in her car," according to the arrest report.
Javier Magarin denied placing the Airtags and that the woman could not find the devices. However, AirTag's sound continues.
The woman left her car at a friend's house in the nearby city of Coral Gables, and Javier Magarin reportedly called her several times afterwards to say he knew where her car was. When she returned to pick up her car, she found Javier Magarin parked across the street.
Javier Magarin eventually admitted to placing an AirTag, although he claimed to have removed it. Eventually, he told her that the device was under the floor mat in the trunk of her car.
She took it off and begged him to stop. "He replied via text message that he did not care," the report said, "because his life had lost its meaning."
The woman then accidentally left the AirTag in her purse, and Magarin continued to follow her. When threatened with a restraining order, he reportedly posted an image of a gun on Instagram with the caption "I'll do it for you."
In the absence of AirTag, the harassment continued. Javier Magarin allegedly accessed the woman's email and cancelled her flight.
However, on April 26, she received another Apple alert about AirTag. Again, she couldn't find it, and this time she drove to the Miami-Dade Police Department's northwest station to report the tracking.
Police detectives found an AirTag in the rear bumper of her car. On request, Apple then provided information that the AirTag belonged to Javier Magarin.
Javier Magarin was arrested on June 2 and charged with misdemeanor stalking and illegal use of a tracking device.
His defense attorney, Giancarlo Casanova, released this statement Wednesday night: "No formal charges have been filed against my client," the defense attorney said. "Officer Magarin has been an exemplary officer and we look forward to working with the Miami-Dade County Prosecutor's Office to resolve this matter."
In addition, a bill was recently introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives that would criminalize stalking through AirTag or other tracking devices. Apple's AirTags also prompted Tile, the maker of long-time tracking devices, to finally start adding at least a token anti-tracking feature.