Apple released the AirTag in April to assist individuals preserve monitor of their keys, baggage, and different easy-to-lose objects. Now the gadget is getting used to watch the situation of one thing else: vehicles. Or, extra particularly, high-end autos that automotive thieves have began monitoring with AirTags.
“Since September 2021, officers have investigated 5 incidents the place suspects have positioned small monitoring gadgets on high-end autos to allow them to later find and steal them,” York Regional Police say. “Model identify ‘air tags’ [sic] are positioned in out-of-sight areas of the goal autos when they’re parked in public locations like malls or parking tons. Thieves then monitor the focused autos to the sufferer’s residence, the place they’re stolen from the driveway.”
The police say that AirTags are being hidden in trailer hitches, bumpers, and different hard-to-spot locations on autos. As a result of the AirTag was designed to be as unobtrusive as attainable, there are many hiding locations for automotive thieves to put the gadget on an meant goal. Stowing one of many trackers is faster than truly stealing the automotive, and after the car leaves the general public car parking zone, it is in all probability going to be stored someplace personal sufficient for the theft to happen.
Apple beforehand updated the AirTag to scale back the size of time one of many trackers would have to be away from its proprietor earlier than it began to alert individuals who have been touring in shut proximity to the gadget as a safeguard in opposition to the product getting used to stalk somebody. (Though that change solely helps iPhone homeowners; Android customers are left with third-party solutions whereas they watch for the corporate to ship the app it promised to launch on the platform.)
AirTags are nonetheless designed to begin issuing this warning someday between eight and 24 hours after being separated from their proprietor. That leaves loads of time for a automotive thief to put the gadget on a car, monitor it to a extra secluded space, and probably steal it earlier than the proprietor realizes they’ve picked up a stowaway AirTag. York Regional Police suggest storing vehicles in garages, buying steering wheel locks, or taking different steps to discourage would-be thieves.