A Virginia man used a clever accessory to help law enforcement bust a massive case of theft

LadyofHats with additional editing by 痛 and Patrickneil, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Virginia.svg, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Theft is on the rise nationwide and countless retailers and individuals are losing millions of dollars due to the “shrink.”

In most cases, the stolen goods are resold for profit and are never returned to their rightful owners.

But a Virginia man used a clever accessory to help law enforcement bust a massive case of theft. 

Virginia carpenter uses Apple AirTags to help cops find stolen tools

Maryland police have recovered nearly 15,000 stolen tools in a massive theft case thanks to a Virginia carpenter who was seeking justice for his stolen goods.

According to the Howard County Police Department, the bust was “one of the largest and most expensive theft cases in the region in recent years.”

The cache of around 15,000 construction tools was found in a storage facility and was worth between $3 and $5 million.

A Washington Post story reported that a carpenter in Virginia played a vital role in helping police locate the goods and crack the case.

The carpenter, whose name has not been revealed, was determined to catch the thieves after they broke into his van twice.

He hid several Apple AirTags in some of his larger tools to try and track the thieves in case they returned.

And on January 22, the thieves returned.

The Virginia business owner employs around 14 people.

He tracked the suspects to a storage facility and informed the authorities.

He lost nearly 50 tools in the string of thefts and has only recovered a few.

“They don’t know what they do to me. They steal our job,” he said.

In a press release, police confirmed that a tracking device was used in the investigation.

“During the investigation, which began in late January when a tracking device in a stolen tool led officers to a storage unit in Elkridge, detectives have conducted search warrants in all 12 locations – 11 of which are in Howard County – from where they recovered the tools,” they wrote.

Police added that detectives believe the tools were stolen “from retail stores, businesses, vehicles, residential properties, and construction sites primarily in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.”

They said the stolen goods were mostly kept inside various storage units in Howard County and detectives believe they were being re-sold “at a variety of locations and through different means.”

The case has nearly 80 victims

At the time of publication, no suspects have been charged, but police said the case currently has around 80 victims.

They are urging the victims to contact them in order to retrieve their stolen tools.

Howard County Police Chief Gregory Der said “this case sends a clear message: We will not tolerate criminal enterprises operating here in Howard County.”

He also thanked detectives from the special investigations division and the officers who helped with the “enormous and unprecedented case.”

Der noted that authorities put in “thousands of hours and have many more ahead of them” before everything is resolved.

Patriot Political will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.