Carjackers are using Apple AirTags to track high-end vehicles to steal them later

jsilva

Posts: 272   +1
Staff
In brief: When Apple launched the AirTags earlier this year, they seemed like a helpful tool to avoid losing valuable items like laptops, phones, tablets, or anything else. However, car thieves are now using them to track high-end vehicles, showing them the location of their target in real-time.

From September 2021 until now, the York Regional Police have already encountered five cases where suspects used Apple AirTags to track vehicles they were allegedly planning to steal. Thieves put the trackers on publically parked cars and situate the device in out-of-sight places, including trailer hitches, bumpers, and gas cap area. Thieves can then track the vehicle until they find it in a suitable location to steal, like the victim's residence.

Hiding Apple's AirTags in a car is only possible because of its compact shape and size. Its round shape and small dimension make hiding the tracker easier and quicker than actually stealing the car in a high-risk area. Applying an adhesive magnet to it makes placing it on any out-of-the-way place on the vehicle easy and fast.

To prevent AirTag owners from using Apple's tracker to stalk others, the manufacturer implemented countermeasures to hinder those who try. If your car has a thief's AirTag hidden somewhere and you have an iPhone, you can detect it in your vicinity. Even if you don't own an iPhone, the tracker will start emitting an alarm sound sometime between eight and 24 hours after moving from the owner's vicinity.

This time window is still more than enough time to steal the car, but you can use other measures to prevent thieves from succeeding in their objective. A couple of examples include parking your car in the garage instead of your driveway or using steering wheel locks to prevent them from driving, even if they can start it.

Image credit: KKPCW (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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wiyosaya

Posts: 6,976   +5,488
I have a thing called a Keltec that is the greatest theft deterrent system ever invented!
I am sure that works when you are sleeping in bed and unaware that your car was tracked to your home and stolen from your driveway while you were sleeping. 🤣That's the whole point of tracking the car - so that they don't have to interact with someone like you who thinks his gun is the solution to everything. :rolleyes:
 

BadThad

Posts: 818   +947
I am sure that works when you are sleeping in bed and unaware that your car was tracked to your home and stolen from your driveway while you were sleeping. 🤣That's the whole point of tracking the car - so that they don't have to interact with someone like you who thinks his gun is the solution to everything. :rolleyes:
Never said it was the solution to "everything", don't put words in my mouth. It's a solution to counter evil. Do you have a better one? Like calling a social worker to save you?

I have a dog that will alert me to ANYTHING that happens in and around my house. Then I know to grab the Keltec. In lead and gunpowder I trust! In all others, not so much.
 

Kotters

Posts: 361   +258
I am sure that works when you are sleeping in bed and unaware that your car was tracked to your home and stolen from your driveway while you were sleeping. 🤣That's the whole point of tracking the car - so that they don't have to interact with someone like you who thinks his gun is the solution to everything. :rolleyes:

You misunderstand. He stores the keltec inside the vehicle. When the thief becomes tempted to try the keltec, it explodes.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,477   +7,312
Caught one trying to steal my car 4 years ago and he used a different kind of tracker. When the police arrived they put the guy and his left leg in the ambulance and sent him away. I asked the officer if I was in any trouble and he said "maybe in another 10-15 years when this guy get out of the joint, assuming he can hobble this far" ......
 

theruck

Posts: 483   +296
Ouch another side of the coin
just put your own tracker inside it too
the more apple devices the better for everyone
 

Gameredic

Posts: 18   +8
I have a hard time believing that this is a new problem. Small GPS trackers have been around for a while, how is the air tag different?
It hadn't been available on a consumer level and with the accuracy from the power and money of Apple.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 737   +537
Sadly crime is a way of life now - we have always had crime - but I think in the 50s 60s etc a lot of those people were the black sheep - adrenaline junkies , or lazy so & so without much empathy.
My parents house had no locks on the door , had no bolts so couldn't lock it if you wanted - no one locked their cars .
until society treats drugs as a health problem , allow and regulate prostitution, assist those in debt,
Put lots of resources into crime.poverty families .
Provide outlets for risky teens energy .
Then it will continue
I grew up near the state benefit area of town , solo parents etc - most of the teens who did shoplifting, assault against each other , burglaries - did it just for excitement , they went on to be hard working taxpayers .
Sure I'm met people from certain european countries telling me - I just have to say I'm a drug addict - and I get x y & z - so what - it's a small cost.

It's harder now as some young kids don't respect the law -as can't be touch for minor crime - most of them are dumb - as police just waiting till they turn 16 or 18 depending on country .
I used to love fighting at school - but I stopped at 16 as now assault and I had the power to drop people -I just fought for fun - not to hurt people or damage ( helped I grew up fighting my older brothers and their friends and often playing 2 games of rugby on saturday - one my age grade and one later in the next age up later in day in the forwards ( the grunts ))
 
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psycros

Posts: 3,823   +4,965
Cops and stalkers have been using these trackers for a couple years now. Its a little weird that the police don't even need a warrant to put one on someone's car.
 

yukka

Posts: 1,013   +164
Caught one trying to steal my car 4 years ago and he used a different kind of tracker. When the police arrived they put the guy and his left leg in the ambulance and sent him away. I asked the officer if I was in any trouble and he said "maybe in another 10-15 years when this guy get out of the joint, assuming he can hobble this far" ......

😳
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,976   +5,488
Never said it was the solution to "everything", don't put words in my mouth. It's a solution to counter evil. Do you have a better one? Like calling a social worker to save you?

I have a dog that will alert me to ANYTHING that happens in and around my house. Then I know to grab the Keltec. In lead and gunpowder I trust! In all others, not so much.
"When you become fanatical about the enemy, you become the enemy." Commander Sinclair - Babylon 5 Season 1 Episode 4 "Infection"
 
... In lead and gunpowder I trust! In all others, not so much.

Using a gun on someone who has not threatened your life or put you in imminent danger will land you in prison for longer than the car thief would have gotten. You are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
 

Gameredic

Posts: 18   +8
LoJack has been around for a while. Long before Apple showed up with Air Tags.
Did you see where I said "consumer level." That means randoms in the world can buy it, not just those with friends in high places. Also, LoJacks are kinda large. And it's more difficult to use offensively (as in trying to track someone else's car rather than your own).
 

waclark

Posts: 192   +100
Did you see where I said "consumer level." That means randoms in the world can buy it, not just those with friends in high places. Also, LoJacks are kinda large. And it's more difficult to use offensively (as in trying to track someone else's car rather than your own).
LoJack's are commercially available and affordable. They are consumer level and have been for years. Define "large". According to the LoJack web site the device is the size of a deck of cards. Larger than an Air Tag but still small.

I don't know the installation requirement for LoJack. On the surface Air Tags seem easier to attach to a car, but LoJack may not be that difficult to install.
 

BadThad

Posts: 818   +947
Using a gun on someone who has not threatened your life or put you in imminent danger will land you in prison for longer than the car thief would have gotten. You are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Aren't you a fountain of knowledge?! If you had taken the time to read and think about my post, I clearly said DETERRENT. I didn't say I'm coming out guns blazing.

In your lifetime, be sure to think of me with a thug pulls a weapon on you and you're defenseless, peeing your pants and quaking in your boots little girly man. You defenseless victims are part of the problem as you will gladly bend over the take it up the wazoo. This encourages criminals because you and your brethren make it easy.