Florida cop accused of stalking ex-girlfriend with AirTag

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A Miami-Dade police officer planted AirTags to track his ex, and it was Apple's anti-stalking features that got him suspended from duty.

AirTag stalking has already concerned police at a university, and Apple's anti-stalking features are often reported to fail. Now, however, those features led to a woman's discovering she was being tracked, and then to her police officer ex-boyfriend being relieved of duty.

According to the Miami Herald, patrol officer Javier Magarin, 27, broke up with an unnamed woman in March 2022. Hours after he moved out of her home, according to the arrest report, she heard an AirTag bleep "emitting somewhere within her vehicle."

Magarin denied planting the AirTag, and the woman could not find the devices. However, the AirTag sound continued.

The woman left her car at a friends home in the nearby city of Coral Gables, and subsequently Magarin reportedly phoned her repeatedly, saying he knew where her car was. On returning to pick up her car, she found Magarin parked across the street.

Magarin eventually admitted planting an AirTag, though he claimed to have removed it. Ultimately, he told her that the device was under a floor mat in the trunk of her car.

She removed that and begged him to stop. "He responded via text saying that he did not care," says the report, "because his life was already over."

The woman then inadvertently 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, captioned "I'll do it in style for you."

The harassment continued without the use of an AirTag. Magarin allegedly logged into the woman's email and cancelled a flight she'd booked.

However, on April 26, she got another Apple alert about an AirTag. Again, she could not find it, but now she drove to the Miami-Dade Police Northwest District station to report the stalking.

Detectives at the station found an AirTag taped up inside her car's rear bumper. On request, Apple then provided the information that this recovered AirTag belonged to Magarin.

He was arrested on June 2, charged with misdemeanor stalking, and illegal use of a tracking device.

His defense attorney, Giancarlo Casanova, on Wednesday night issued this statement: "No formal charges have been brought against my client," defense attorney Giancarlo Casanova told the Miami Herald in statement. "Officer Magarin is an exemplary officer and we look forward to addressing this with the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office."

Separately, a bill has recently been introduced to the Ohio House proposing that stalking by AirTag or other tracking devices be criminalized. Apple's AirTags have also prompted long-time tracking device manufacturer Tile to finally start adding at least token anti-stalking features.