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HomeNewsPolice say airtags are latest tool thieves use to take cars

Police say airtags are latest tool thieves use to take cars

According to the OPP, thieves are getting craftier in how they try and steal cars.

The Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry OPP detachment, which is about an hour south of Ottawa, says they received two reports within 24 hours of Apple airtags being found hidden in cars. “In both cases, the vehicle owner received a notification on their cell phone that an airtag (wireless tracking device) was nearby and attempting to connect,” explains Eric Cranton, acting Sgt. with the East Region OPP. “One owner was able to locate the airtag, which had been placed in the fuse box, under the hood of her vehicle.”

In June 2022, the Toronto Star reported that the Toronto Police have dealt with multiple instances of carjackers using airtags to take cars. 

Cranton suggests parking cars in a garage or, if that’s not possible, parking a less valuable vehicle nearby. Cranton suggests securing the car’s diagnostic port using a diagnostic port lock. The port can be used to reprogram the vehicle’s ignition system. Other ideas from the police include using a steering wheel lock, buying a GPS tracker, purchasing a video surveillance system, or installing better lighting where the vehicle is parked.

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Cranton says iPhone users will automatically get a notification when an airtag is nearby, while Android users could download an app like Tracker Detect. 

“While thieves continue to use technology to assist in stealing high-end vehicles, you as the owner can respond using the same tools,” he says. “Equipping your vehicle with your own AirTag could assist police in locating your vehicle if it was ever stolen.”

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