Apple AirTag Linked to Increasing Number of Car Thefts, Canadian Police Report

Apple's AirTags are being used in an increasing number of targeted car thefts in Canada, according to local police.

airtag in hand
Outlined in a news release from York Regional Police, investigators have identified a new method being used by thieves to track down and steal high-end vehicles that takes advantage of the AirTag's location tracking capabilities. While the method of stealing the cars is largely conventional, the purpose of the ‌AirTag‌ is to track a high-end car back to a victim's residence where it can be stolen from the driveway.

Since September 2021, police officers in York Region alone have investigated five incidents where suspects used AirTags in thefts of high-end vehicles. Thieves target any particularly valuable vehicles they find in public places and parking lots, placing an ‌AirTag‌ in an out-of-sight area, such as in the tow hitch or fuel cap, in the hope that it will not be discovered by the car's owner.

Thieves have no way to disable Apple's anti-tracking features that alert users when an unfamiliar nearby ‌AirTag‌ is tracking their location, but not all victims receive or act on the notification, or have an iPhone.

While only five thefts have been directly linked to AirTags so far, more than 2,000 vehicles have been stolen across the region in the past year, and the problem is likely to extend to other localities and countries around the world. The police expect to see AirTags used on a wider scale in an increasing number of vehicle thefts in the future.

The police have encouraged car owners to park in a locked garage if possible and inspect their vehicle regularly for trackers, especially if they receive an unknown ‌AirTag‌ notification, and have released two public information videos related to the growing problem.

Top Rated Comments

Trik Avatar
31 months ago
I guess this just means Tile wasn't popular enough for criminals to use them to steal cars...
Score: 76 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jouster Avatar
31 months ago
My car is a 2005 SUV with over 250,000 miles, and many years of dog/toddler/teenager detritus, on it. According to Kelly's Blue Book it is worth less than an AirTag. I'd be up $29 if someone leaves a tag in it.
Score: 68 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jcshas Avatar
31 months ago
This is why we can't have nice things.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joey0 Avatar
31 months ago
My airtag can barely be detected between two floors... I'm kind of impressed
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xObeyThePanda Avatar
31 months ago
Only five so far, but just wait until more thieves find out about this idea thanks to news outlets posting speculative articles.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SnakeEater1993 Avatar
31 months ago
Apple's statement on this: " I missed the part where that's my problem...''
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Delta Feature

Delta Game Emulator Now Available From App Store on iPhone

Wednesday April 17, 2024 9:58 am PDT by
Game emulator apps have come and gone since Apple announced App Store support for them on April 5, but now popular game emulator Delta from developer Riley Testut is available for download. Testut is known as the developer behind GBA4iOS, an open-source emulator that was available for a brief time more than a decade ago. GBA4iOS led to Delta, an emulator that has been available outside of...
iOS NES Emulator Bimmy Feature

NES Emulator for iPhone and iPad Now Available on App Store [Removed]

Tuesday April 16, 2024 11:33 am PDT by
The first approved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator for the iPhone and iPad was made available on the App Store today following Apple's rule change. The emulator is called Bimmy, and it was developed by Tom Salvo. On the App Store, Bimmy is described as a tool for testing and playing public domain/"homebrew" games created for the NES, but the app allows you to load ROMs for any...
iPhone 15 Pro Action Button Translate

All iPhone 16 Models to Feature Action Button, But Usefulness Debated

Tuesday April 16, 2024 6:54 am PDT by
Last September, Apple's iPhone 15 Pro models debuted with a new customizable Action button, offering faster access to a handful of functions, as well as the ability to assign Shortcuts. Apple is poised to include the feature on all upcoming iPhone 16 models, so we asked iPhone 15 Pro users what their experience has been with the additional button so far. The Action button replaces the switch ...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New App Store Delta Game Emulator

Wednesday April 17, 2024 12:19 pm PDT by
A decade ago, developer Riley Testut released the GBA4iOS emulator for iOS, and since it was against the rules at the time, Apple put a stop to downloads. Emulators have been a violation of the App Store rules for years, but that changed on April 5 when Apple suddenly reversed course and said that it was allowing retro game emulators on the App Store. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...