AirTags, Apple’s tracking devices that look like small, white pucks, broadcast Bluetooth signals to nearby Apple devices, allowing owners to locate them (and anything they are attached to) on a map. Since Apple released AirTags in 2021, people have used the trackers to find missing bags, keys, and pets. AirTags have proved controversial, because they have also been used to stalk unsuspecting victims.
Using AirTag technology on political lawn signs seems to be catching on. Earlier this year, a candidate in Florida tracked a stolen campaign sign to the house of a political rival thanks to an AirTag.
Arlene Talley, Gilson’s friend and a member of the Chester County Democratic Committee who also had signs stolen from her front lawn, was one of the first to show up at the dumpster after Gilson passed its location on to her. Inside, Talley found 118 signs. “I just started taking them out and putting them in my car,” Talley told BuzzFeed News.
Among the candidates whose signs were swiped was Pennsylvania state Rep. Melissa Shusterman, who is running for reelection. “Kudos to the technology of an AirTag!” Shusterman told BuzzFeed News in a phone call, not long after tweeting a picture of the signs in the dumpster and accusing “local Republicans” of stealing them.