Over the past few months, we have been hearing increasing reports about electronic devices being used to track people. In Canada, there was a spike in grand theft auto due to Apple AirTags being utilized to track cars and then plan heists under conducive conditions. Apple strengthened its protections against these malicious activities and so did some other vendors. Now, in a rather unusual incident, a man has been arrested for tracking his girlfriend's activities by attaching an Apple Watch to her car's wheel.
Nashville resident Laurence Welch, aged 29, was arrested recently for stalking his girlfriend by attaching an Apple Watch on the spoke of her car's wheel and then tracking her location using an app. Welch was apprehended at a Family Safety Center after security called the police.
The victim says that Welch had threatened to kill her several times in the past. Previously, both used the Life360 app to track each other's location. However, the unnamed victim usually disabled Life360 before visiting Family Safety Centers, after which Welch repeatedly messaged her demanding to know where she is.
For those unaware, Life360 is marketed as a safety app that can be used to track your friends and family, it is primarily used by parents to remotely supervise their children.
As a workaround to Life360 being disabled, Welch enabled it on his Apple Watch and then attached the device to the spoke of the car's wheel. According to the police, Welch even went directly to the parked car and crouched next to its wheel instead of entering the Family Safety Center.
In July 2021, Welch was being investigated over domestic assault charges and was arrested in December 2021 too. His latest arrest appears to be a continuation of his domestic problems.
Although we don't cover domestic cases at Neowin since they generally fall outside the scope of tech, it's a bit concerning to see electronic devices being misused in this way. It's of vital importance that companies involved in this space figure out ways around this before this problem escalates and spreads even further.