Apple created AirTags to help users find commonly misplaced items like keys or luggage. When paired to an Apple device via Bluetooth, each AirTag allows the owner to track the item’s whereabouts. Hidden AirTags have even been used to track down stolen vehicles, including motorcycles.
However, AirTags don’t just let the user track their belongings, they also allow thieves to track other people’s property. Authorities in Ontario, Canada, have discovered that crooks are stashing AirTags on luxury vehicles, out of the owner’s sight. Once the thief tracks the automobile to the owner’s residence, they can steal the car out of the public eye.
"Inspect your vehicle regularly and call police if you notice any suspicious potential tracking devices,” suggested the York Regional Police in a prepared statement. “If possible, park your vehicle in a locked garage. Most vehicles are stolen from a driveway."
While AirTags alert any Apple device in the vicinity to its presence, those notifications may not be delivered for hours or days. Also, non-Apple users wouldn’t receive any alerts, as the proprietary technology doesn’t pair with competing platforms. With burglars tracking vehicles back to residences, the matter quickly becomes a question of home security, and the Canadian authorities are asking targeted owners to take the proper precautions.
"Consider purchasing a quality video surveillance system,” the statement concluded. “Ensure cameras are properly placed and functioning for day and night time use. Familiarize yourself with the system so it can be reviewed and accessed easily.”
Of course, the most ideal remedy to the situation would include more regulatory features by Apple. If burglars are targeting cars, they can also use the technology on motorcycles. AirTags may present a convenient and non-obtrusive way to find lost items, but they also give thieves the tools to track those same precious belongings.