OC dad credits Apple AirTag for the recovery of daughter's stolen e-bike

The AirTag ended up showing that whoever had the bike was on the move.

Jessica De Nova Image
Wednesday, April 5, 2023
OC dad credits AirTag for the recovery of daughter's stolen e-bike
A father praises AirTag with helping him find his daughter's stolen e-bike and decided to take matters into his own hands after deputies ended their report with no investigation.

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. (KABC) -- After his daughter's e-bike was stolen then recovered in late March, an Orange County dad ended up praising the modern technology that helped them find the e-bike.

Johnny Ehrman, the owner of the e-bike, was off work when she noticed it was gone. Her father, David Ehrman, said the bike was worth about $3,000.

"AirTag, I give you two thumbs up because you're a 100% accurate and you got that bike back," David said.

Johnny said she left the pedals and wheel locked, removed the battery, but the bike wasn't locked onto a fixed object.

"I called 911. I was like, on the verge of sobbing because this has never happened to me before, nothing this like drastic," Johnny said.

She then pinged the AirTag hidden on her bike.

"She notified the sheriff's of the new location and how long ago it pinged there. The sheriff's were taking a report. They sent a whole bunch of officers to that area and started flooding the area," David said.

David said when deputies knocked on the door, the person inside denied knowing anything about the bike. The AirTag ended up showing that whoever had the bike was on the move.

With law enforcement gone, David decided to take matters into his own hands and head to the new location.

He said that a man was behind the gate holding a grinder with the bike as it still had the U-lock attached.

"I open the gate. I grab the bike and then I just basically turn around and I walked away. Didn't even think about anything happening to me because as a determined dad, I wanted that bike back and I wanted it bad," David said.

Deputies arrived at the new location and saw the bike recovered. David said he wasn't happy that was the end of their report.

"You don't care? The $3,000 bike grand theft? No investigation? What about the possibility of other items that may have been stolen at that address?" David said.

A spokesperson with the Orange County Sheriff's Department reminded victims of crime to let local law enforcement take over the recovery of stolen items, sending the following statement:

"As much as the convenience of technology plays a vital role in the quality of our lives, we want to remind our communities to utilize their local law enforcement services when they've been victimized by a crime instead of placing themselves into harm's way."

"GPS tracking devices, like an "AirTag", are used for tracking property like bicycles, backpacks, etc. Putting such devices onto property items will help you locate those items if missing or stolen; however, pursuing its recovery in a vigilante manner because the GPS device depicts its location could place you into a physically dangerous predicament."

"If you become a victim of a property crime involving a GPS device, notify your local police department and inform them of the incident. Based on the GPS device's coordinates, the police may attempt to contact the residence, or individual, within the proximately of the alert. Depending on the totality of the circumstances, including the information provided by the GPS device, the police may utilize a warrant to search for the stolen property. Police must lawfully abide by a person's 4th Amendment right of the US Constitution against unreasonable searches and seizures at all times."

"As emotionally challenging as it can be when criminally violated, our highest priority is your personal safety. Please call us to help you recover your lost items. OCSD (714) 647-7000."