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Armed citizen fatally shoots car thief who stole his truck

A handgun aiming at a target. (Dreamstime/TNS)
April 18, 2023

A truck thief in San Antonio got more than he bargained for when he stole a Chevy Silverado that was equipped with an Apple AirTag. 

The owner of the truck, who has not been identified, called the police to report his vehicle had been stolen, according to KSAT. Not satisfied with waiting for police response, he reportedly used the Airtag to track his vehicle down. 

Upon finding the alleged thief, identified as 44-year-old Andrew Herrera, inside the truck, the owner approached the vehicle. While details are unclear, it appears Herrera may have pulled a gun on the owner. The owner then fatally shot Herrera. 

The matter is still under police investigation. Law enforcement has not specified if the truck owner will face charges related to the shooting, as Texas law allows citizens to engage in deadly force if needed for self-protection. 

Details regarding the shooting, such as how many shots were fired or if there were multiple firearms recovered from the scene, have not been released. The owner of the vehicle did stay on the scene following the incident, fully cooperating with police upon their arrival.

KSAT News reported that San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) public information officer Nick Soliz implored the general public to avoid taking matters into their own hands to avoid situations such as these. 

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“One of the victims of the stolen vehicle gets out of the car, goes around, attempts to contact the suspect in the truck. During this time he believes that a firearm may have been pulled by the suspect, so a firefight ensues,” Soliz said in a statement.

“Most importantly, to the public, SAPD is urging you, if you are to get your vehicle stolen, I know that it’s frustrating but please do not take matters into your own hands like this,” he continued. “Our police department has plenty of resources that can go into finding your vehicle.”

“It’s never safe to take matters into your own hands, as you can see today, by this incident,” Soliz added.

Apple Airtags have been controversial since their release, with some pointing out the potential privacy violation concerns of a device that could allow people to be tracked without their knowledge. 

The use of Airtags to track stolen goods has also been the subject of many cases, some of which ended well while some ended in owners experiencing assault or worse. Consumers are urged that should they employ Airtags to track stolen property, they should not engage with the suspected thieves and should contact their local police departments.