San Mateo, CA (CNN) — We’ve had people tracking their bags when airlines can’t find them. Now here’s something new: a passenger tracking an item she left on a plane — to an airport employee’s home.
Earlier in March, Alisabeth Hayden, from Washington state in the US, was separated from her AirPods — Apple’s pricey micro headphones — while disembarking from a plane in San Francisco. She swiftly realized that they appeared to have been stolen.
But after nearly two weeks, she had them back — thanks to her tenacious tracking abilities.
Hayden was flying back from a trip to Tokyo to visit her husband, who is on secondment in the military, when she was parted from the earphones.
Disembarking from the plane at San Francisco International Airport — and a little disoriented after a nine-hour flight from Tokyo — she left her denim jacket on her seat, at the back of the plane.
“I realized before I was even off the plane,” she says. “I was the third from last off the plane, so I asked the flight attendant if I could go and get it. He said no — I was required by federal law to get off the plane and stand beside it, where the strollers are brought to. I was tired, he said he’d bring it to me, I said OK.”
He did indeed bring it to her — and she boarded her next flight to Seattle. “A child was screaming next to me and I thought, ‘At least I have my AirPods,'” she remembers. She reached for her jacket — she’d left the two breast pockets buttoned up, one with her earphones, one with some Japanese Yen inside it.
“The pockets were open, and my AirPods were gone,” she says.
On the move
The plane had already taken off to Seattle, but Hayden used inflight Wi-Fi to track the earphones using the “Find My” app, which tracks Apple devices. The AirPods were showing at SFO.
Then she realized they were moving.
“I’m a diligent person, and I tracked the whole way from San Francisco to Seattle, taking screenshots the entire time. I live an hour from Seattle, and once I got home, I was still taking screenshots,” she says.
The AirPods by now were showing up at a place on the map called “United Cargo” — still within the airport, but the cargo side of the airline, so not where a passenger would be likely to be.
Then they moved to Terminal 2. Then to Terminal 3. Then they were on Highway 101, heading south towards San Mateo. They ended up at what appeared to be a residential address in the Bay Area, and stayed put there for three days.
Of course, everyone’s gadgets are precious, but Hayden’s AirPods hold particular significance — they’re her link to her husband, who calls her from his deployment on such a bad line that she needs them to hear him.
From the minute she realized they were gone, Hayden was trying to get them back. She messaged United and SFO from the plane, then tried the police in San Francisco, Hayward (where the tracker was showing), and SFO’s own airport police.
She worked out the email format for United employee emails, and “blasted” every single executive she could find, across the globe. “I hit every avenue I could find, and used every possible form of communication, and got the same response: ‘I’m sorry that happened to you,'” she says.
In the meantime, she says, she marked the AirPods as “lost” on the app, so that anyone who used them would hear a message telling them that they were hers, and giving them her phone number.
United, she says, were “godawful” in their communications with her.
“First they were like, ‘I’m sorry you lost your belongings on our flight.’ I was like, ‘I didn’t lose them, I was denied the ability to get my jacket by an employee… and now my $250 AirPods are missing.'”
The person who helped? A detective from San Mateo police force, working at the airport.
He matched the address the earphones were pinging from to an address for an employee of the airport — a contractor working to load food onto aircraft.
United would later clarify to Hayden in an email that they were “not a United employee but a vendor.”
She says now: “I can’t make any assumptions, but what I know is that they were in the pocket when I got up, I wasn’t allowed back to my seat, and by the time the steward brought [the jacket] to me they weren’t there — and when I tracked them, they were at an employee’s house.”
United confirmed to CNN that the employee works for a United vendor, and said that the matter has been handed over to law enforcement.
It added in a statement: “United Airlines holds our vendors to the highest standards and we are working with local authorities in their investigation of this matter.”
‘They look like they’ve been stomped on’
Hayden says the detective told her that “the information had been given to United Cargo, and they were going to call this person into the office and question him.”
“For the next few days, I was watching my AirPods at this man’s house. They should have died, because I hadn’t charged them before my trip, but I kept getting a notification on that they had been ‘seen’ [by the app] — which meant someone had connected their iPhone to the AirPods.”
A few days later, the detective called her again to say that the employee had been questioned. He’d denied having the AirPods, until being shown the tracking screenshots at his home — at which point he said that he’d been given them by one of the airplane cleaners. That person denied all knowledge of the situation.
The matter is now being handled by the San Francisco Airport Police Department, which plans to submit the case to the San Mateo District Attorney’s office, a spokesperson for San Mateo County confirmed to CNN.
After 12 days of chasing, Hayden finally got her AirPods back — although not in peak condition. “They look like they’ve been stomped on,” she says. “They were wrapped in a toilet paper-sized piece of bubble wrap, Why bother?”
When she flagged United about their condition, she says, she was told to leave feedback through the contact form on its website. A week later, and after CNN first contacted the airline about her case, Hayden was told she would receive $271.91 in “expenses” (to buy a new pair) plus 5,000 miles as an apology.
‘I paid for you to make sure no one stole my stuff’
Hayden — who always travels with an AirTag in her luggage, too — says she’d love to be the last case of alleged theft from a plane.
“I’m tenacious — but what about the people who don’t have the time, or who give up? How many people will be told, ‘You left them behind, what do you expect?'” she asks.
She calls the detective who helped her “amazing.”
In the meantime, with her AirPods recovered, she can communicate with her husband again.
“Maybe they look like AirPods to normal people, but it’s my lifeline to my husband and means something different to me,” she says.
“But I shouldn’t have to explain for someone to care.”
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A Noblesville man, awaiting trial on road rage charges, tried to hire a hit man to eliminate witnesses against him, according to court documents.
Trevor Dahl, 24, was charged in November with attempted murder after being accused of shooting a man on Nov. 17 following a confrontation while driving.
While awaiting trial on the attempted murder charge, Dahl communicated with a confidential informant that he thought was a hit man. According to court documents, Dahl wrote letters to the informant that contained references to his girlfriend and a juvenile witness in a pending case against him.
Dahl gave descriptions of both, as well as addresses, places of employment and social media information. In both letters he wrote “Don’t care if she/he comes back.”
Dahl also offered his 2004 Acura TXS as partial payment for the murders, and that he “will make cash payments upon release.” Records show he also asked “Can this be done by March 13th? I have trial that week.”
Records show Dahl began written correspondence from the Hamilton County Jail with the informant. At one point referring to the persons he wanted killed as “Bathroom Renovation” and “Bedroom Renovation.” Dahl again wrote “Trial Date, Need done by March 13th, 2023” “Will pay cash upon release!”
Eventually Dahl began communicating with an undercover officer with the Hamilton County Sherriff’s Office. On a phone call, Dahl asked the undercover officer, posing as a hit man, how much he wanted for “the bedroom and bathroom renovations.”
Dahl again offered his Acura as payment, according to investigators. The undercover officer asked Dahl which job he wanted started first and which was most important. According to records, Dahl responded “Probably the bedroom. They’re equally important, but probably the bedroom and that’s probably going to be the easier one.”
Investigators say Dahl attempted to sell his Acura to cover the cost of one of the killings, and agreed to pay a total price of “4 to 5” ($4,000-$5,000) for both. Documents say Dahl said, “I think it would be easier to go ahead and gut it all and not have anything, you know?”
The undercover officer then asked Dahl if he wanted the same thing done with the bathroom.
Dahl replied, “Yes Sir. Definitely the bathroom. We don’t want anything left of the bathroom for sure.”
Records show investigators met with Dahl on Thursday and asked if he knew the hit man he had been communicating with and showed him the letters he had written. According to investigators, Dahl denied knowing the hit man, but agreed the writing on the letters were his handwriting.
Dahl is now facing two charges of conspiracy to commit murder, in addition to his previous attempted murder charge, according to court records.
NEW YORK (WISH) — On Friday, the Empire State Building (ESB) will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s legendary album “The Dark Side of the Moon” with a special anniversary version of the famous original album artwork to spin in its mast.
The Empire State Building to Light Up in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Dark Side of the Moon.’
“‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ is as authentic, global, and iconic an album as the Empire State Building is a building, so it is only logical to celebrate it atop ESB’s world-famous tower,” said Anthony E. Malkin, chairman, president, and CEO at Empire State Realty Trust. “On March 24 she will celebrate this milestone anniversary alongside the multitude of Pink Floyd fans throughout the world.”
Released in 1973, “The Dark Side of the Moon” is one of the best-selling albums of all time with more than 45 million copies sold worldwide. The album is praised for its innovative production techniques and creative use of instruments and has influenced countless artists throughout its 50-year history.
Pink Floyd will release a new deluxe box set that day that includes CD and gatefold vinyl of the 2023 remastered studio album and Blu-ray + DVD audio with the original 5.1 mix and remastered stereo versions. The deluxe set will also include new Blu-ray disk of Atmos mix, CD and LP of “The Dark Side of the Moon – Live at Wembley Empire Pool, London 1974,” a 160-page hardback photo book, a music book, replica 7” singles, and memorabilia.
The display will kick off at sunset and can be seen throughout New York City, as well as online from the Empire State Building Live Cam. More information about Pink Floyd and the 50th Anniversary of “Dark Side of the Moon” can be found online.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)– If you’re interested in a career in broadcasting, this weekend the Indiana Broadcasters Association is hosting its Spring Career Fair. Find a job at WISH-TV or many other Indiana broadcasters!
The Indiana Broadcasters Association connects stations with broadcasters looking for new opportunities. Twice a year, the IBA hosts a career fair for students and job seekers to meet one-on-one with stations from across the state who are looking to grow their staff. Those looking for jobs can search current openings on the IBA Jobs Board. Jobs are posted for 90 days or until they are filled.
The career fair will be held at the East Event Centre in Carmel from 1:30-4:30 p.m. EDT. Tickets are free and available here.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The City of Indianapolis is auctioning off a 118-year-old train caboose. According to a listing on govdeals.com, the caboose has been owned by the City of Indianapolis since 2020. It has plumbing, toilet and a shower. You’ve probably seen it if you’ve biked the Monon Trail.
The ownership and future use of the caboose has been the subject of debate and contention in recent years. The city has been trying to get the caboose off the property for several years after the previous owner stopped making lease payments.
The caboose was most recently used as a realty office, but has since sat empty. Now the city wants it gone and has put it up for auction.
A write up on the auction website says, “According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, the 118-year-old caboose has occupied a tiny parcel of city-owned land adjacent to the trail, at 6535 Cornell Ave., for a half-century. According to Waymarking.com, the caboose was built in 1904 and was part of the New York Central Lakeshore Lines.”
“The train car became part of the Monon Rail System in the late 1960s and traveled the tracks that now form the Monon Trail. During the bankruptcy in the 1970s, the train car—along with another caboose that was later removed — were sidelined on a side spur in Broad Ripple. It has remained there ever since.”
While the auction is sure to attract attention for rail fans, others have questioned why the city did not ask for public comment or input.
Bill Malcolm of the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance said in a statement, “IPRA asks the auctioning off of the historic Monon Trail Caboose be halted. This is an appalling move by IndyParks. Especially as there was no opportunity for public comment. It should be allowed to stay next to the Monon Trail or moved by the City to a spot in Broad Ripple Park. The 108 year old Monon Railroad caboose has sat at its current location for 50 years. We ask the City to cancel the auction and hold public comment hearings on this historic treasure. We don’t need more parking and there is no urgency. Using the caboose for firewood or giving it away for $3,000 is a tragedy. Shame on the City for such a surprising tone-deaf move after we had complained 2 years ago when they kicked Walsh Realty out of the caboose and promised to keep it at its current site as they had no budget to move it.”
If you want to bid on this piece of history, know that you have to remove it from the property and that may involve the use of a crane.
The winning bidder will also have to remove the tracks and railroad ties.
On Thursday there were 40 bids, with a high bid of $3125.
In an afternoon statement to News 8, an Indy Parks spokesperson provided this statement: “Indy Parks has decided to pause the sale of the caboose located at 6535 Cornell Ave. to reengage stakeholders and explore additional options.“
WASHINGTON (AP) — Approval of President Joe Biden has dipped slightly since a month ago, nearing the lowest point of his presidency as his administration tries to project a sense of stability while confronting a pair of bank failures and inflation that remains stubbornly high.
That’s according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which shows there have been modest fluctuations in support for Biden over the past several months. The president notched an approval rating of 38% in the new poll, after 45% said they approved in February and 41% in January. His ratings hit their lowest point of his presidency last July, at 36%, as the full weight of rising gasoline, food and other costs began to hit U.S. households.
In recent months, approval of Biden had been hovering above 40%.
Interviews with poll respondents suggest the public has mixed feelings about Biden, who is expected to announce a reelection bid by this summer. When it comes to the president, people generally do not swing between the extremes of absolute loyalty and aggressive loathing that have been a feature of this era’s divided politics.
“Neutral towards approve,” Andrew Dwyer, 30, said of Biden. “I don’t think he’s the best at representing my position and issues. But I know being president involves compromises.”
Dwyer, a data analyst in Milwaukee, said he voted for the president in 2020 and considers himself to be liberal. He acknowledged the recent failures of the Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, but he said that the economy is adjusting to higher interest rates set by the Federal Reserve to combat inflation.
“We all got so used to cheap debt and the ability to throw money around,” Dwyer said. He said there were “pain points” caused by higher borrowing costs but that he thinks the process will “ultimately” lead to a healthier economy.
The president has taken ambitious steps to boost the U.S. economy, with his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package from 2021, infrastructure investments, support for computer chip plants and taxes on corporations and the wealthy to help fund health care and a shift away from fossil fuels.
But those efforts involve multiyear investments that have yet to provide much optimism to a public dealing with annual inflation at 6%. The president and other administration officials have toured the country to promote their achievements. But to many, the economy feels as though it could be on a knife’s edge after the recent bank failures, as well as the debt limit showdown with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., that could put the U.S. government at risk of defaulting.
Just 31% approve of Biden’s stewardship of the national economy, about where it’s been over the course of the last year. His handling of the nation’s economic fortunes has been a weak point at least since late 2021, when the inflation that the administration had suggested was transitory became a bigger pain point for businesses and families.
Michael McComas, 51, voted Republican in 2020 and described Biden as “not great — average, I guess.” A resident of Westland, Michigan, he noted that it will take years to determine whether federal infrastructure spending fulfills the promises made by Biden.
McComas said he believes inflation is the direct result of government spending to counter the pandemic, a claim that Biden has personally rejected when asked by reporters.
“We poured so much money into the system — that’s a little frustrating that we were shocked that we got hit by inflation when a lot of our policies were inflationary,” McComas said.
The difference between Biden’s approval overall and his approval on the economy is driven largely by Democrats, 76% of whom say they approve of how he’s handling his job as president while 63% approve of his handling of the economy. Few Republicans approve of Biden on either count.
Democrats under the age of 45 feel less positive about Biden, causing a drag on his approval ratings. Just 54% approve of the president’s economic leadership, compared to 72% of Democrats older than 45. Similarly, just 66% of Democrats under 45 approve of Biden overall, compared to 85% of older Democrats.
Only about a quarter of Americans say the national economy is good or that the country is headed in the right direction, the poll shows. Those numbers have also fluctuated only slightly over the last few months.
Ratings of Biden’s handling of foreign policy (39%) and climate change (41%) are about on par with his overall approval ratings. Seventy-four percent of Democrats and 9% of Republicans approve of Biden on foreign policy, while 67% of Democrats and 17% of Republicans approve of his handling of climate change.
Theresa Ojuro, a 29-year-old doctoral student in Rochester, New York, said she “expected more” from Biden — “just a little bit more stability with the economy.” Ojuro, who voted for Biden in 2020, also noted that the bank failures are dragging down her sentiment, but she worries about how high taxes are in New York state relative to the benefits provided.
“If Biden is doing his job, why in a state like this can you see people really suffering?” Ojuro said.
The poll of 1,081 adults was conducted Mar. 16-20 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.0 percentage points.
WASHINGTON (WISH) — Supreme Court justices listened to an hour and a half of arguments today revolving around a copyright dispute, according to the Associated Press.
The parties? Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and a dog toy company.
Arizona-based VIP Products makes a squeaky dog toy that resembles a bottle of Jack Daniel’s famous Sour Mash.
The “Bad Spaniels” squeak toy bottles have the words “Old No. 2 on Your Tennesse Carpet,” and “43% Poo by Vol.”
Jack Daniel’s, based in Lynchburg, Tennessee, said in a filing with the court: “Jack Daniel’s loves dogs and appreciates a good joke as much as anyone. But Jack Daniel’s likes its customers even more, and doesn’t want them confused or associating its fine whiskey with dog poop,” wrote the company’s attorney Lisa Blatt in a filing with the court.
Blatt wrote that the distiller “welcomes jokes at its expense” but the toy misleads customers and profits from “Jack Daniel’s hard-earned goodwill and compares their “whiskey with excrement.”
The court will decide if the case follows the Lanham Act, which prohibits using a trademark in a way that would cause confusion as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of goods.
Jack Daniel’s claims that is what the dog toy does. VIP Products says in a court filing that Jack Daniels is attempting to use the act to silence its parody dog toy.
VIP Products produces other parody dog toys including Mountain Drool and Heini Sniff’n.
NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan prosecutors postponed without any explanation a scheduled grand jury session Wednesday in the investigation into Donald Trump over hush money payments during his 2016 presidential campaign, at least temporarily slowing a decision on whether to charge the ex-president.
The postponement was confirmed by four people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because they were not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation by name. It was not immediately clear why the proceedings were postponed, but the grand jurors were told to be on standby for Thursday, another day when the New York panel has been meeting in recent weeks.
When the grand jurors next meet, they may hear from yet another witness, according to a person familiar with proceedings that appear to be nearing a decisive vote on whether or not to indict Trump.
The panel has been probing Trump’s involvement in a $130,000 payment made in 2016 to porn actor Stormy Daniels to keep her from going public about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump years earlier. Trump has denied the claim, insisted he did nothing wrong and assailed the investigation, led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, as politically motivated.
Wednesday’s abrupt development, which a person familiar with the matter said was not connected to security concerns, came amid growing anticipation that Trump could soon be charged. Grand jury proceedings are shrouded in secrecy, making it hard to predict with certainty what action might be taken and when.
As the panel has been hearing from final witnesses, Trump has contended his arrest is imminent and law enforcement officials have accelerated security preparations in the event of unrest accompanying an unprecedented charge against a former U.S. president.
The district attorney’s office declined to comment on the postponement, which was earlier reported by Business Insider.
Prosecutors had recently invited Trump himself to appear before the grand jury, and on Monday heard from a witness favorable to his case as a way to ensure that the panel would be presented with any information that could conceivably be considered exculpatory.
Trump over the weekend stated that he expected to be arrested Tuesday, though the day came and went without that happening.
Tucker reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Michael Balsamo and Colleen Long contributed to this report.
UPDATE: Kelsie Thompson was located out of state on March 22. She was “found to be safe, healthy, and declined any other assistance from law enforcement,” the Kokomo Police Department said on Facebook.
Thompson’s missing persons case is now closed.
KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) — Police in Kokomo are asking for assistance in locating a woman missing since February.
On March 16, at about 9:14 a.m., officers of the Kokomo Police Department were dispatched to the 800 block of Rainbow Circle in reference to a report of a missing person.
According to the Kokomo Police Facebook page, 25-year-old Kelsie Thompson has not been seen or heard from since Feb. 17. Police have followed up on leads but have not located her.
Kelsie is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall and 115 pounds with short dark hair, and tattoos on both the left and right arm. Kelsie is also described as having a tattoo of a red heart on her right thigh.
Kelsie may be in need of medical assistance. Investigators are asking anyone with information on her whereabouts to contact local law enforcement immediately.
Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Cameron Cunningham at (765) 456-7136 or the Kokomo Police Department Hotline at (765) 456-7017.
You may also qualify for a cash reward by calling Central Indiana Crime Stoppers at 800-262-8477 with your anonymous tip.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With hits like “Doctor My Eyes,” “Running on Empty,” and “The Load Out,”
Jackson Browne is not only an iconic musician but also a Rock and Roll hall of famer.
Now he’s bringing his 50-plus years of musical goodness to the Brown County Music Center in Nashville, Ind.
The show is set for Monday, June 19. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 24, at 10 a.m.
According to a press release, Jackson Browne has written and performed some of the most literate and moving songs in popular music and has defined a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion, and personal politics.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007.
His debut album came out on David Geffen’s Asylum Records in 1972. Since then, he has released fourteen studio albums, four collections of live performances, two “best of” compilations, two DVDs, and several single recordings.
Jackson’s newest studio album, “Downhill From Everywhere” was released in July 2021 and was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Americana Album.
Grab your chance to see Jackson Brown before he’s scheduled to appear, a thousand miles away from here…