There’s an International Manhunt Underway for Whomever Stole a Race Driver's AirPods

There’s an International Manhunt Underway for Whomever Stole a Race Driver's AirPods

A pair of AirPods are at the center of an international mystery after race driver Louis Delétraz left his headphones on a United Airlines flight. Delétraz, who said he left the Airpods under a seat in row 16 of a flight to Geneva, Switzerland, tracked the headphones as they flew across the globe. But when they made a pitstop in a residential building, Delétraz realized a conspiracy was afoot. Now, United tells Gizmodo it’s launched an investigation.

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On Monday, Delétraz tagged United in a post about the problem on X/Twitter. “My lovely AirPods fell under the seat and since then have been flying daily between USA and Europe, with stops in Paris and currently in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean,” Delétraz wrote. “As much as I’m sure they enjoy your business class, I miss them and would love if you could retrieve them.”

The official United X account responded, asking Delétraz if he’d filed a “lost on board” report, and offering to help. But a day later, the headphones were still in the air. “Update : This morning Zurich and now in Canada @united HELP,” Delétraz posted.

By this point, the post had been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, with fans and X users chiming in with theories and suggestions. “Is anyone else questioning the cleanliness of this plane? Like at some point one would think someone needs to run a vacuum through there and find these AirPods,” one user wrote. “Your airpods are having one hell of a world tour,” said another. Delétraz did not respond to a request for comment.

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On Wednesday, the tenor shifted. The AirPods were no longer flying. Delétraz posted a screenshot from his iPhone’s “Find My” app, showing they had somehow made their way to an apartment building on North Kedzie Avenue in Chicago. “Looks like someone found them and stole them,” Delétraz said. He wrote that he’d seen the AirPods traveling back and forth on the highway, demonstrating that the AirPods weren’t just stuck in an AirPlane flying across the country.

It seemed like a lost cause, but suddenly, the headphones were back at the airport. Delétraz even figured out exactly what flight they were on—or so he thought.

“It’s not over!!! Seems like a cabin crew stole the AirPods. It left the residential area to go back to Chicago O’hare Airport,” he tweeted. “It is at gate M14, and the plane just departed to Panama on flight UA7173. It’s a Copa Airlines plane operated by United. AirPods held hostage still.”

But on day four of the saga, the AirPods were back in Illinois. “Unsure if they went to Panama or not, but they are back at the thief’s home at Chicago.,” Delétraz wrote. At this point, it seemed the post attracted enough attention that United’s corporate office got involved.

Delétraz wrote that United had called him to let him know they were on the case, which a United spokesperson confirmed in an email to Gizmodo.

“Our team is working directly with the customer to understand the details of this situation,” said a United Media Relations employee. “That’s all we have to share.”

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According to Delétraz, United is working to figure out who lives at the apartment building, as the Find My app was able to give him the exact address. For now, the mystery continues. We’ll be back with an update as events develop.