An airport worker from Florida accused of stealing items from passengers’ luggage was arrested after an Apple AirTag led police to his residence.

Giovanni De Luca, 19, an airline subcontractor at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS), was charged with two counts of grand theft after authorities recovered stolen items from his home.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s office said that in July 2022, a traveler had reported that her luggage, which contained items worth more than $1,600, never arrived at her destination. The passenger said that an Apple Airtag in her suitcase last showed as active in the area of Kathy Court in Mary Esther, Florida.

A separate incident report in August 2022 showed that a traveler had items taken from his luggage, including jewelry worth more than $15,000.

Authorities then cross-referenced airport employees who lived within the vicinity of Kathy Court in Florida.

Officers credit the first passenger’s Apple AirTag, a tracking device that triggers alerts on iPhones, iPads and Apple computers, to linking them to De Luca. De Luca admitted rummaging through the first passenger’s suitcase and removing an Apple Airtag.

“This arrest is an example of excellent teamwork by our Airport Security Unit, our Investigators, and the Airport to find the person responsible for these thefts and make sure he is held responsible,” Sheriff Eric Aden of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s office said in a statement.

As airports across North America and Europe struggle with travel disruptions, airlines and airports have resorted to using contractors to quickly address staff shortage.

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