Traveler to Atlanta hunts down stolen suitcase using Apple AirTags

An airline passenger’s suitcase goes on a trip he never booked in a bizarre case of lost-and-found. Jameel Reid’s luggage traveled from the airport to a hospital back to the airport and finally to a train station.

Jameel Reid had just landed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport last month after a long flight from Los Angeles. He went to baggage claim to retrieve his luggage.

"I was looking around baggage claim in the luggage room the little room where all the lost luggage is and still wasn’t seeing it either," Reid said.

Reid checked with his airline.

"I started asking around and still, no luck," he said. 

Reid tracked the air tag he placed in his suitcase.

"I see that it’s at Grady Memorial Hospital. I’m like, ‘OK, what’s going on here?’" he asked.

Reid thought he located his suitcase. 

"Now, it’s back at the airport," Reid said.

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A man uses Apple AirTags to track down his suitcase which was stolen at Atlanta’s airport. (supplied)

But his bag kept moving. 

"The third point, it got to a train station. So, I was like, ‘OK, that’s not good,’" Reid said. "At this point, it’s definitely stolen," he said.

The odyssey finally led Reid to the SkyTrain Airport Station at the Georgia International Convention Center.

"As I come out, I smell my cologne," Reid said.

Reid and a police officer from College Park traced the tag to a man on the floor next to Reid’s silver, aluminum, hard-shell suitcase. He was wearing Reid’s clothes.

"He had on my shirt, my jeans and my socks," Reid said. "I was just thinking, wow, this guy has really got on my stuff." 

Police arrested Craig Nelson. Reid posted the encounter on Instagram. The video has gone viral.

"[I] got everything back except for the clothes he had on," Reid said.

Nelson is charged with theft, unlawful removal of baggage, and criminal trespass. Reid hopes his story serves as a cautionary tale to travelers to always put a tracker in their checked luggage.