Houston man tracks his missing electronics to house in Humble using smart device, investigation now underway

Are smart devices savvy enough to track down criminals? One Houston man hopes so. That's after he received a notification saying electronics he accidentally left on an airplane were at a house in Humble.

What happens next, the police strongly advise against it. More on that in a moment.

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It all started at Bush Intercontinental Airport. Ethan Williams' lost bag has now turned into a police investigation after his smart device contacted him and told him his lost earbuds had been taken to a specific address.

"I was extremely shocked because I'm under the impression everyone understands how electronics work these days," says Williams. 

Sure, AirPods play music, but they can also tell you where they are. Williams says after returning from Mexico, he accidentally left his work phone, car key fob, AirPods and more than $1,000 in cash in a case in the seat pocket on the plane.

Hours later, he says his AirPods sent their location, and they were no longer on the plane, but at an address in Humble.

"Probably in haste and not the most logical thing to do, but I got in my vehicle, and I went to the address," Williams explains. He also called the police and Precinct 4 deputies responded to the home. 

"The lady said, 'well my husband works at the airport, but he doesn't do anything like that.' In the midst of it, they were saying my neighbor works there (at the airport) too, and they work in the customs area," says Williams. 

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Precinct 4 says the family allowed deputies to search their home and Williams' belongings weren't there. No one has checked the neighbor's house.

Houston police confirm their detective who works at Bush Airport is now investigating in hopes of tracking down Williams' belongings. 

"It kind of makes you be like, man, I thought people were better than that. I don't want to say anyone is a thief, but it seems very likely that someone who works for the airline or airport took those items. I think maybe I gave them a heads-up, popping up before the police were there, and they had a chance to get rid of them," says Williams.  

HPD says if you track lost or stolen electronics to a particular location, don't go there. Instead, call the non-emergency line and report your findings. They also remind us, tracking electronics is sometimes off by several feet, so the location your device gives you may not be the exact address.