Thieves Use Apple AirTags to Steal Cars

Canadian police report an increase in thefts since September

In recent months, Apple's AirTag location technology has been used to steal cars in Canada. 

As first reported by MacRumors, local police in the York Region of Ontario, Canada, put out a public warning on Thursday about a string of car thefts using Apple AirTags. According to the release, suspects place AirTags on high-end vehicles to track them, locate them later, and steal them when the owner is not around. 

Apple AirTags

Getty Images/James D. Morgan

Since September, York Regional Police said they had investigated five AirTag-related car theft incidents. The suspects have placed the AirTags in out-of-sight areas of a car, such as a gas fuel cap or tow hitch, while a vehicle is parked in a public parking lot. 

It’s important to note that Apple does have a feature via Find My that lets users know if an unknown AirTag is near them and moving with them over time. However, since the Apple AirTags are in the car and not on the person, not every victim received the notification on their phone. In addition, the notifications only work if you have an iPhone. 

“AirTag was designed with privacy at its core. AirTag has unique Bluetooth identifiers that change frequently. This helps prevent you from being tracked from place to place,” Apple said on the support page for AirTags. 

“When the Find My network is used to locate an offline device or AirTag, everyone’s information is protected with end-to-end encryption. No one, including Apple, knows the location or identity of any of the participating users or devices who help locate a missing AirTag.”

Even with the safeguards that Apple has put into place, critics have been skeptical about AirTags since the tech giant released them in April, saying that the size of Apple’s Find My network amplifies the potential for bad actors to take advantage of the technology

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