An alarming new crime has been trending across North America since late last year—Apple AirTags have been linked to dozens of accounts of luxury car theft since their release in April of 2021.
Apple AirTags, portable tracking devices intended to help customers keep track of valuable belongings like keys or a wallet, are popping up in police reports in major cities all over the country. So how exactly do thieves break into cars using AirTags? And what can you do to stay protected?
How Thieves Use AirTags to Break Into Cars
By placing this small tracking device in a hidden location somewhere in or on a vehicle’s body, thieves are able to track a car’s exact location and wait for the opportune time to break in. AirTags can be discreetly placed virtually anywhere on a vehicle, turning your car into a live GPS tracker. Often, thieves will wait until a targeted vehicle is parked at a residence before using tools to break in and reset the car controls to factory settings before speeding off.
According to recent reports, these devices have been planted near gas tanks, within vehicle undercarriages, and inside car bumpers. One Los Angeles woman reported finding an Apple tracking device in the space behind her license plate after receiving a notification from her iPhone that an unknown AirTag was located nearby. These reports are sparking concern over vehicle theft as well as personal safety.
What We Know About AirTag Car Theft So Far
- This criminal activity appears to have originated in Canada, with Ontario police releasing five reports of luxury vehicle break-ins using AirTags late last year.
- One study found that within eight of the largest police jurisdictions in the US, 150 police reports involving AirTags had been filed over a recent eight-month period.
- In addition to car theft-related reports, police have issued a startling number of stalking-related reports tied to AirTags.
- Apple has made attempts to address recent concerns with app updates and added safety features, but critics remain skeptical that these measures will prevent AirTag crime.
How to Prevent Thieves From Breaking Into Your Car
There are a few things you can do to help protect your vehicle from an AirTag break-in.
- Use anti-theft devices such as a steering wheel lock, flashing lights, or audio warning systems
- Park your vehicle in a locked garage whenever possible
- If you have an iPhone, check for any unknown AirTags in your area and seek help locating a tracking device if necessary
- Be aware of your surroundings and report suspicious activity
Safeguard Your Vehicle With Elo + Theft Benefit
Although theft prevention has become more thorough over the last few years, thieves are experienced and can leverage advanced technology to break into your car. Don’t wait for car theft to happen to you—protect your vehicle with Elo GPS and Theft Benefit protection.
Elo GPS is a vehicle recovery device and service all in one. In the event that your vehicle is stolen, Elo GPS helps authorities to locate your vehicle while you gain access to a dedicated team of vehicle recovery specialists via a direct hotline. For added protection, Theft Benefit works by providing drivers with coverage options for a number of vehicle theft scenarios. When paired together, Elo + Theft Benefit is your best option for total vehicle theft protection.
To find a dealership near you offering Elo + Theft Benefit, contact one of our theft protection specialists.