MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar)- The Midland Police Department says an Apple Air Tag was used to stalk a Midland woman. Now Ray David Valverde Jr., 36, is behind bars, charged with stalking, a third degree felony.
According to an arrest affidavit, on January 24, a woman called MPD and informed an officer she was trying to make her way to the police station when her estranged husband, identified as Valverde, began following her. The victim told police instead of continuing her drive to the station, she decided to drive to her brother’s home. When she arrived at the home, Valverde drove away.
At that time, MPD investigators made contact with the victim who showed police video of Valverde’s car as it followed behind her. She also told police Valverde had called her phone around 40 times since January 22. The victim then told police in December she found an Apple AirTag attached to her Tahoe and was convinced Valverde was the one who placed the device on her vehicle. Investigators said the tag had been tracking the vehicle as recently as December 29.
The victim told police she was afraid for her life because Valverde had once “severely beaten her” and had previously been charged with assault by strangulation.
According to the affidavit, at that point investigators contacted Valverde who admitted to calling the victim at least 20 times in less than 48 hours. Additionally, Valverde eventually admitted he had been using the tracking device to follow the victim for several months.
Valverde was released Wednesday on a $10,000 bond.
About the Apple AirTag
According to Apple, if an AirTag is slipped into your belongings or attached to your vehicle, your iPhone is supposed to notify you and the tag will begin to chirp.
Android phones, however, will not send an alert. Android users are encouraged to download a free app called Tracker Detect which will scan for AirTags nearby. You can also tap an AirTag with any NFC-enabled phone which will bring up the owner information and the serial number, which can then be reported to the police.
Technology experts say if you find an AirTag on your car, do not drive home. Instead, remove the battery by firmly pressing on both sides and twisting counter-clockwise. This will instantly disable the device.