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North Long Beach man finds stolen car using an Apple Airtag

Long Beach resident Philip Obando was able to recover his stolen car after hiding an Apple Airtag in his trunk as a precaution.

“I walk out of my house and there is no car and I’m just flabbergasted,” said Obando. He then quickly called the police and jumped onto his phone’s Airtag app to track the car, where he noticed it was only a few blocks away.

Obando and his wife tracked the car until the Airtag froze, but picked up again in the afternoon when they spotted it by a gas station. 

“My wife says ‘There is the car! The person is gassing it up.’ She said ‘Get out of the car and go get it and I jumped out of the car,” Obando said.

Obando confronted the thief as his wife blocked in the car at the gas pump. 

“I said ‘This is my car! The guy said, ’No it’s my car.’ I said ‘Really?’ I had an extra fob, click it, car beeped and that’s when the guy said ‘Oh, oh man…’ and he just fled.”

Obando says he left behind drug paraphernalia inside the car and when he reviewed the dashcam video he saw the man driving around his neighborhood, into alleyways, swapping out the license plates and even taking the vehicle to the car wash.

The dashcam video also showed the man picking up a second man and bragging about the theft. 

“That’s a bimmer, that’s a bimmer… boom! I’m going to park this one somewhere and get the other one tomorrow,” said the thief.

The other vehicle he was referring to was Obando’s wife’s car where the man found the key fob to his car. 

Police data shows 78 cars were reported stolen in North Long Beach between Jan. 1 and April 20.

After confronting the man, Obando said he found the thief’s wallet with his driver’s license inside. When he checked the address on the license, Obando discovered it was a neighbor. 

“We looked up his address and sadly it’s really not far from where we live. That is scary.”

Obando gave the wallet and all the video to the police, who advised him to never confront a suspected thief out of safety concerns.

NBC4 reached out to Long Beach police to inquire if any arrests were made but have not yet received a response.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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