A man in Nashville, Tennessee was arrested after police found that he had attached an Apple Watch to his girlfriend’s car in order to track her whereabouts, WSMV news reported.
Lawrence Welch, 29, was arrested and charged by police for attaching the electronic tracking device to his partner’s car on Friday, which, according to the arrest affidavit, they found by a wheel of the vehicle after they were called by security from a local Family Safety Center.
Mr Welch’s partner, the news report continues, had gone to the centre, a place she had frequented before, for protection from her boyfriend who, she alleges, had uttered death threats against her on multiple occasions.
When police came to the centre, they noticed that Mr Welch, instead of standing outside waiting for his girlfriend, was perched beside the back of her car and appeared to be inspecting something near the wheel. That’s when they discovered the Apple Watch, a device on which Mr Welch had installed the location-based service app Life36 and had synced up to his own phone to track his unknowing partner.
The victim told police that the pair had used the app before to keep tabs on each other’s whereabouts, but to her knowledge it had only been installed on her phone and she always made a note to disable it before she went to the Family Safety Center to seek their protection services.
WSMV reported that, according to court records, the 29-year-old man is already facing two separate domestic assault charges from incidents that occurred in July 2021, which led to an arrest last December.
Apple was recently forced to beef up its security around a separate piece of technology patented by the Silicon Valley giant, the tracking device aptly named AirTag.
Soon after its release, the tracking device began to be controversially misused by stalkers and thieves, prompting the company to issue a security update that included two anti-stalking features. The first update allowed iPhone users to be “automatically alerted if an unknown AirTag is moving with them” and the second “emit a sound if they are separated from their owner for a significant amount of time”.