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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

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


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.

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


macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2005
I guess this just means Tile wasn't popular enough for criminals to use them to steal cars...
in a sense. They are more aware of AirTags existing and the Apple p2p network is much bigger than Tile's, I would never expect their crowdsource to find anything unless I knew I would be in the area with a Tile phone all to ping it. Also, a "high end" car owner in the US is pretty likely to be carrying an iPhone themselves and apple's network for relaying position is on by default.

Apple made a distributed cheap tracker fob system work, and people are taking advantage of it. Not sure there is much of a way to prevent that.


macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2020
Sounds like such a click bait …. Just put a small gps tracker that can’t be traced for the same results , also not sure what’s the shock is about , computers are used for fraud in the billions each year , it’s not like this AirTags made an impossible crime possible , but what can you do , it’s a weekend , news are slow
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