‘It was petrifying:’ Mom of UNF student says daughter was alerted to tracker after fair visit

Jessica Egger said a tracking device was put on her daughter’s car.

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. — A mother is sending out a warning to others after she said a tracking device was put on her daughter’s car.

The 20-year-old University of North Florida student was leaving the Clay County fairgrounds Friday evening. She was driving back toward campus when about 20 minutes into her drive, she started receiving notifications on her phone. It said “an unknown accessory was detected” near her.

“I had her continue to drive, and as she’s doing that, she’s sending me more notifications that someone is still actively looking to see where she is,” Jessica Egger said. “With the tracking, you’re able to pull it up on your iPhone. You can actually see when they check your location.”

Egger told her daughter to call 911 and drive to a safe place. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office met her at a movie theater on the Southside.

“They were never able to actually locate the tracking device,” Egger said. By the screenshots that she had, it looked like the tracker had possibly fallen off somewhere around the UNF area.

There have been dozens of reports similar to Egger’s daughter’s story revolving around Apple air tags that are typically used to track belongings. Some are getting into the wrong hands and are being used to track people.

“It was petrifying,” Egger said. “I think as the days go on, and we don’t really have any clear answers, it’s even scarier.”

A police report was filed with JSO.

“Her iPhone was on. Her location services were on,” Egger said. “She has everything on that she needed, so she would be alerted to any kind of tracking device. That’s my takeaway. Make sure that’s on for your phone.”

Egger doesn’t know why or how this happened, but she wants to warn other parents.

“Take it seriously,” Egger said. “Report it. Please. Please report it.”

She adds this can happen to anyone, anywhere.

“I don’t think it was fair. I don’t want people to walk away and say, ‘Oh, that’s not a safe place.’”

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