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Has anyone used Tile as a theft recover device for one of their bicycles? I live in a metro area with a relatively high crime rate, and I am looking for some extra piece of mind while I have my bike locked up unattended.

Tile has a tracking feature that will make it undetectable if someone steals the bike, unlike Apple AirTag, which will notify the thief if they have an iPhone and the AirTag is riding along. It takes 15 minutes for an iPhone to inform someone if the AirTag is traveling with them without them knowing.

I'm unsure if Tile is ideal because it relies on other people passing by who are also using the app to update the location. If your bike gets stolen and taken to a remote area where no one uses the app, you might be out of luck. However, Tile's network may be very robust.

Has anyone had any experience using Tile devices or specifically for this purpose with that anti-theft feature enabled?

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Tile in theory can help aid recovery, but in practice, as the answer linked to in comments confirms, knowing where something is a small part of successful and cost-effective recovery. If you bike has been shipped to Guatemala or to another state, is it going to cost effective to pursue it? Is law enforcement at the location going to be able to assist, and if able, willing?

If the bike was used by someone as a way to get home after their car broke down, you might find it with a Tile. Many places it is as likely a serial number and Police report will find it. Most Police jurisdictions have a stack of bike waiting for the next Police auction because they were recovered by the Police but not reported by the owner.

Tiles have an "Anti theft" mode that can be enabled. Without this anyone running the tile app on a phone will be alerted there is a Tile following them, and either dump the bike or search for it.

Outside of scope of this SE (Post this on Security.se) so I will keep it short- The contract when you turn on Anti Theft mode required you positively identify yourself. It then allows Tile to give you information to law enforcement without a search warrant - think about the implications before doing so (consider both data breaches and why the forth amendment exists). On top of that, you have a potential for a $1million penalty - can you afford threat, of the lawyers to defend yourself.

IMHO, Insurance is cheaper and more reliable. Prevent you bike being stolen best you can and pass the problem of what to do if it is stolen to someone else.

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  • Ah, thank you. Yes, insurance might be cheaper also. With tile you have to pay a monthly fee and then the devices. I might be able to just add them to my rental policy.
    – Ziggy
    Nov 14, 2023 at 20:56
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Take a look at the following, this was my experience

https://www.thestreet.com/technology/look-motorcycle-thieves-caught-by-technology-with-a-sly-twist

Note: the link is a published account of Tile being used to successfully recover a stolen bike.

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    Thanks for the link and the story documenting the successful recovery of your stolen bike using Tile. If you could bring some of that story directly into your answer it would be even more valuable.
    – Ted Hohl
    Nov 15, 2023 at 19:19
  • so there are instances where it works!
    – Ziggy
    Nov 15, 2023 at 22:19

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