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Car thieves are using Apple AirTags to track and then steal expensive vehicles, iPhone users should be aware of a certain warning notification

Canadian police officers have found hidden AirTags on stolen cars, indicating they were used to track the location of the expensive vehicles (Image: Daniel Romero)
Canadian police officers have found hidden AirTags on stolen cars, indicating they were used to track the location of the expensive vehicles (Image: Daniel Romero)
Car thieves in Canada are abusing the functionality of Apple's AirTags, which have reportedly been used for tracking the location of expensive vehicles in an attempt to later steal them. Apple iPhone users should be aware of a certain notification that can thwart the relatively simple procedure employed by such criminals.

For regular iPhone users, Apple's tiny AirTags (from US$29 on Amazon) have proven to be very useful to easily locate and retrieve misplaced keychains or other similar everyday items which they can be attached to. Unfortunately, these tiny locatable gadgets are now also being utilized by car thieves in Canada, who are going after particularly expensive cars which they spot in public places. The York Regional Police, which is located near Toronto in the Canadian province of Ontario, has now issued a press release in which it unveils and warns about the procedure employed by these car thieves.

These criminals start by looking for expensive vehicles in public spaces like parking lots. Should they spot an expensive car that is worth stealing, they apparently place the locatable AirTag in hidden spots like the tow hitch connector. With said AirTag, the thieves are able to track the vehicle to its nightly parking location, and then proceed and steal the car using tools and technical equipment which allows them to start the vehicle without a key. Apple's anti stalking function is designed to prevent this from happening, because it notifies iPhone users should an unknown AirTag constantly remain in their immediate proximity.

However, not every car owner uses an iPhone, and even if they do, some victims supposedly did not receive the warning notification or simply ignored it because they were unaware of the associated danger. The York Regional Police has recorded at least five incidents of stolen cars in which the perpetrators apparently used Apple AirTags, but it is likely that the actual number of such crimes involving Apple's trackable gadgets is much higher, which is why iPhone users should be vigilant if the according notification pops up on their smartphone.

The tow hitch connector appears to be a popular spot for car thieves to hide an AirTag which is used to track and then steal expensive trucks or cars (Images: York Regional Police)
The tow hitch connector appears to be a popular spot for car thieves to hide an AirTag which is used to track and then steal expensive trucks or cars (Images: York Regional Police)
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Enrico Frahn
Editor of the original article: Enrico Frahn - Tech Writer - 919 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2021
My fascination for technology goes back a long way to the Pentium II era. Modding, overclocking and treasuring computer hardware has since become an integral part of my life. As a student, I further developed a keen interest in mobile technologies that can make the stressful college life so much easier. After I fell in love with the creation of digital content while working in a marketing position, I now scour the web to bring you the most exciting topics in the world of tech. Outside the office, I’m particularly passionate about motorsports and mountain biking.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 12 > Car thieves are using Apple AirTags to track and then steal expensive vehicles, iPhone users should be aware of a certain warning notification
Enrico Frahn, 2021-12- 3 (Update: 2021-12- 3)