Apple AirTag is said to be a hot new tool for car thieves


Over the past few weeks, there has been a flood of news articles linking Apple’s AirTag tracking device to car theft. In April, Apple released a coin-sized device as a way to allow people to monitor their keys, luggage, and other personal belongings. However, there have been reports claiming that thieves are using them to mark and track vehicles that they are trying to steal later.

The scenario usually starts with a person parking a car in a public place when a thief finds a model worth taking. The device is then mounted in a discreet location on the vehicle, and the criminal waits for the owner to sleep soundly. However, some versions of the story also include scammers aiming for luxury cars in the hope of living in a house with similar luxury goods worthy of robbery. It’s strange that Apple is chosen because there are similar devices on the market. However, AirTag has been updated by the company to reduce the amount of time trackers need to leave their owners before starting to alert iPhone users moving near the device as a way to prevent stalking. .. As a result, many were discovered before the car was stolen.

“Since September 2021, police have investigated five cases in which suspects have placed small tracking devices in luxury cars so that they can later find and steal them,” Canada’s York District Police said this month. I mentioned at the beginning. “Brand name’airtags’ [sic] If the target vehicle is parked in a public place such as a mall or parking lot, it will be placed out of sight of the target vehicle. The thief then tracks the target vehicle to the victim’s residence, where it is stolen from the driveway. “

“Thieves usually use tools such as a screwdriver or a driver through the passenger door to break into the vehicle without sounding an alarm. Once inside, a mechanic usually sets the factory settings. The electronic equipment used to reprogram is connected to the onboard diagnostic port under the dashboard and programs the vehicle to accept the key brought by the thief. When the new key is programmed, the vehicle starts. And the thief drives it away. “

The tracker not only gives the thief the opportunity to scout the vehicle he wants to ride, but also provides extra time to set up the equipment needed for that particular model. However, the connection with Apple seems to be an easy result if the driver of the target car happens to have an iPhone or has downloaded a third-party application for Android. We’ve seen reports of other trackers being used to swipe cars, but AirTags (usually more expensive) continue to be found in people’s cars.

Fox 5 News Atlanta police reported in November that they found an AirTag wedged under the car after the owner said he was receiving an alert from Apple.

“I went out with my brother. I searched for a car. We took everything out. We emptied our wallet. We emptied the car. Behind the license plate, I looked under the gas tank and found nothing, “she said.

Recently, Fox 2 News In Detroit, I posted an article about a man I found in the 2018 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack that I bought just two days ago. Owner John Nelson said he drove to a friend’s house after a few hours of visiting the Great Lakes Crossing Shopping Center in Auburn Hills.

“When I got out, I received a notification on my phone, which said I was being tracked by an unknown AirTag,” Nelson explained. “You can click on that notification, you’ll see an option to make a sound from the air tag, and you’ll hear it under the car.”

The person apparently loosened the drain plug in the trunk and threw the device inside.

Such incidents are becoming more and more common, and police stations across North America are receiving calls from drivers who are unable to find their device after receiving notifications from Apple. However, they tend to believe that there are just as many thieves monitoring the target car using similar devices, making the solution much more complicated than instructing everyone to buy an iPhone.

Unfortunately, the only good solution is to fall back to the immobilizer device (kill switch, data port lock, etc.), making sure you spend as much time as possible in hard-to-reach places. Most thieves don’t seem to understand how to operate them, so you can also choose to buy a manual transmission car (although if you don’t know how, you’ll have your own privacy issues. (May) protect your network).

Otherwise, you will have to get over your car, just as the police are looking for smuggled heroin. French Connection (Or even better, Police corps!) If you want maximum peace of mind. Dismantling the entire vehicle can seem like a daunting task, especially because it has to be dismantled every time you return from the store.

[Image: Daniel Jedzura/Shutterstock]

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Apple AirTag is said to be a hot new tool for car thieves

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