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The Apple Watch already has a really long and colourful history of saving lives in a bunch of different ways, including detecting potentially life-threatening medical conditions, saving people from car crashes and cycling accidents, and even helping folks call for help when stranded at sea.
Even with such a myriad list of success stories, however, we still continue to see new and interesting tales of how the Apple Watch has helped to rescue people from dangerous situations, and in a recent story, it seems that police in Texas were able to use the Apple Watch to help locate and save a kidnapping victim.
As reported by NBC News Channel 4 in San Antonio, police in Selma, Texas were able to quickly pursue and solve a kidnapping case thanks to the victim’s cellular Apple Watch and Apple’s Find My feature.
As the news report explains, police responded to a call from a girl who reported that her mother had been kidnapped by a man that she was talking to outside her apartment. The girl had heard her mother scream from the parking lot, but didn’t know where she had been taken until about 10–15 minutes later when her mother called from her Apple Watch, telling her that she had been kidnapped by the man, who also “wanted to hurt her.”
Although the call was abruptly disconnected, the Apple Watch remained active and police were able to spring into action and use the Find My feature — or, as the news report puts it, “emergency cellular ping” — to track the victim down in a nearby parking lot, where the kidnapper left the vehicle and fled the scene as he saw the police approaching.
According to the victim, she and the kidnapper had been fighting and when he refused to give up the vehicle, she climbed into to retrieve her personal belongings from the back of the truck, and he jumped in the driver’s seat and drove off with her still in the bed of the truck.
According to the victim, the kidnapper was also allegedly drunk at the time, and as she yelled at him to stop he repeatedly slammed on the brakes, causing her to bounce around painfully in the back of the truck while laughing each time he did so.
The kidnapping incident occurred on December 16, and while the kidnapper had originally run from the scene, he was known to the victim, so the police eventually did track him down on January 20, and he now faces charges of Aggravated Kidnapping.
Although an iPhone or many other smartphones can also serve to help to rescue victims in cases like these, the wearable nature of the Apple Watch makes it much more practical, since it’s more likely to remain attached to the person, whether that’s in the case of a kidnapping or a boating accident.
In fact, this is one of the most compelling reasons to get a cellular Apple Watch, since it can be used to call 911 in an emergency even if you don’t pay for cellular service. Further, although you would need to have it connected — or have an iPhone nearby — to be able to be located using features like Find My, some emergency services may be able to locate it using standard emergency cellular location technologies.