Police warn: Car theft with Apple’s new Airtags

Police warn: Car theft with Apple's new Airtags

Canadian police have warned of new action by car thieves. They track the cars with Apple’s technology and later steal the vehicles.

The Car Theft Investigation Unit of the York to York Regional Police in the Greater Toronto Area/Canada published a public warning of a new scam by car thieves in early December 2021. Accordingly, in the investigation since September, five such cases have been seen, in which car thieves work with Apple’s technology. The number of unreported cases of unexplained car thefts is similarly high.

theft using mini trackers

As reported by York Regional Police, Apple’s so-called Airtags are used. These are coin-sized (32 mm in diameter) circular location devices that share their location using technology developed by Apple. Airtags can be located with an Apple iPhone and are actually intended to find lost keys or a piece of luggage.

York Regional Police

Scam scam: An attempted theft uncovered by the police in which an airtag was placed under the cover flap of the trailer socket.

To do this, AirTags use Apple’s “where is” system, in which they share their location. If your own iPhone connected to the AirTag is not in immediate range, the AirTag sends its location via Bluetooth signal to any suitable Apple device – iPhone, iPad or Apple notebook computer, which automatically transfers the position to Forward Apple Is. Cloud.

Apple Airtags Autodiebstahl

Apple / Montage Seibt

Airtags can be detected by sending their position to devices (like iPhones) passing randomly through the Apple Cloud.

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In this way, an AirTag can be located hundreds of kilometers from its owner. Especially in densely populated urban areas, the number of related Apple devices is so high that the technology works very accurately. In addition to the ultra-compact size of airtags, car thieves are now apparently making use of the airtag’s accuracy as well. For example, York Regional Police have reported cases where an airtag was placed under the flap of a trailer socket on a vehicle.

In video: Tips from York Regional Police

This scam is much more efficient for thieves than spying on ordinary items: they roam large parking lots, for example in a supermarket, and then hide an airtag on the object of desire. Later, the tracked car can be located in front of the owner’s house and then stolen overnight without noticing. In a warning to this new breed of car theft, police officers offer some tips to make the job of potential burglars more difficult:

  • If possible park the car in a garage, most thefts happen in public street parking.
  • Check the car regularly for possible hiding places for trackers, for example in a trailer socket or wheelhouse
  • An additional anti-theft device such as a steering wheel claw Use
  • Secure the car’s diagnostic port (OBD2 socket) with a lock, as car thieves often unlock the vehicle through the OBD port here on amazon,

apple airtags


It costs 35 euros and is only the size of a coin: Apple AirTags

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Anyone who has an iPhone should also pay attention accordingly. As a safeguard against illegal tracking of things or people, Apple has built in a function that automatically notifies you if someone else’s AirTag has been in the immediate vicinity for a long period of time. Apple writes: “If a strange AirTag is lost in your luggage, your iPhone recognizes it and notifies you. If you still haven’t found it after a while, the AirTag plays a tone so you know.” That it’s there. Of course you don’t have to worry if you’re traveling with other people with airtags, or if multiple people with airtags are on the same train. Notifications are only activated when the airtag is not near or owned by its owner. ,

Last year 23,646 cars were stolen in Germany – that is, 65 vehicles per day. We show in the picture gallery which models were the “most popular” among thieves.

opinion polls

Always park in the garage.

No special protection.

I trust the standard immobilizer.


Modern technology isn’t always just a boon: With tiny, imperceptible trackers, car thieves can spot meaningful vehicles and then steal them in peace and quiet without even noticing. Apple’s AirTags appear to be particularly popular, as a Canadian police authority has now announced. It seems that airtags work so well and are so easy to use that they are increasingly being misused for theft. The fact that this report came from faraway Canada shouldn’t make you feel safe: the chances of a thief visiting with this scam should be pretty high on light-hearted figures.

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