Authorities in Nashville, Tennessee have arrested and charged 29-years old Lawrance Welch for using an Apple Watch to track his girlfriend without her knowledge. The accused attached the smartwatch to the wheel of the victim’s car and kept a tab on her location via the iPhone’s Find My app.
AirTag and AirPods have been stalkers, carjackers, and miscreants’ usual choice of devices to track unsuspected victims with the help of the Find My network. In the light of recent incidents of unwanted tracking, Apple introduced new safety features to discourage and prevent misuse of its devices. And an Apple Watch has rarely been used for unwanted tracking. Welch, with a history of domestic abuse, chose the smartwatch because of the Life360 app.
Abusive boyfriend used the Life360 app on Apple Watch to track girlfriend at Family Service Center
According to WSMV4, Welch’s girlfriend was seeking refuge at the Family Safety Center in the interim order of protection was being acquired. The victim said that the couple used the Life360 app to track each other’s location during the course of the relationship but she had deleted the app when she arrived at the Family Safety Center and ended the abusive relationship.
However, Welch continued to demand to know her location, and when the victim didn’t respond to his requests, he strapped his Apple Watch with an active Life360 app to the wheel of the victim’s vehicle to track her down. Fortunately, the police caught him when he arrived at the Family Safety Center and went straight to the victim’s vehicle.
Police say that Welch did eventually arrive at the Family Service Center, but went to the victim’s car and crouched by a wheel instead of approaching the building. Once officers reached the vehicle, they spotted an Apple Watch attached to the spokes, a device Welch confirmed was his.
It appears that, in order to get around the deactivation of the victim’s Life360 app on their device, Welch instead kept his version active on the Apple Watch and relied on that to track her down.
The misuse of technology for unwanted tracking is becoming rampant. And luckily, Apple has inspired other manufacturers to offer safety features to preserve users’ safety. Tile’s new AirTag-like safety features, Apple’s “Tracker Detect” app for Android, and a third-party app “AirGuard” are all designed to scan and detect unknown trackers or devices traveling with a user. One suspecting foul play, especially victims of domestic abuse should use these apps and contact concerned authorities.
via Apple Insider