Car Thieves Appear To Be Looking For AirTags Hidden In Cars Before They Steal The Car…. Plus Some Suggestions As To How Not Be A Victim Of Car Theft

For while now, a suggestion that has gained a lot of traction in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond is to hide an AirTag in your car. That way if your car gets stolen, it can be tracked and recovered. Now this suggestion comes from the fact that where I live in the Greater Toronto Area, car theft has become an epidemic. But as is usually the case, the bad guys are one step ahead of the good guys. Here’s an example of this:

On Sunday morning, Becca Hislop was with her boyfriend, out and about in Vancouver near Science World, when her car was stolen.Fortunately, she had an active Apple AirTag in the car, which showed the car was moving through Vancouver and even caught in downtown traffic.

The next day, Hislop followed the tracker all the way to a winery in Kelowna. But when she arrived, it turned out the AirTag had been moved into an Evo Car Share vehicle.

So, I see four possibilities as to how this happened:

  • The thief had an iPhone and was able to use it to find the AirTag and place it in the car share vehicle.
  • The thief searched the car by hand to find the AirTag and place it in the car share vehicle.
  • The thief used the unwanted tracker feature that is rolling out to Android phones now to find the AirTag and place it in the car share vehicle.
  • The thief had the AirTag “chirp” which alerted them to its presence.

That basically means that car thieves are now on the lookout for AirTags and are actively getting rid of them so that they can carry out car thefts without getting caught. Thus making AirTags useless as a means to track and recover stolen cars.

What’s my advice? Well, using AirTags for this use case were likely never envisioned by Apple. Thus I would look for a more professional solution such as the GPS tracking system LoJack to protect your car. You can also consider installing an ignition kill switch to keep your vehicle from starting. A visible steering wheel lock to make your car harder to steal and create a visual deterrent for thieves.¬†Finally, an onboard diagnostic port block, either physical or electronic, to keep thieves from reprogramming a car’s fob and disabling the security system.

Besides that, here are some free tips that may help:

  • When parking, turn your wheels toward the curb to make it harder to tow away. 
  • If you have a rear-wheel-drive car, back into your spot.
  • If you have a front-wheel-drive car, park facing forward.

If your vehicle has keyless ignition, there are some additional steps you can take to make it harder to steal. 

  • Don’t keep your fob key near your front door or near a window. Better yet, keep your fob in a signal-blocking pouch that’s lined with material to block your fob from emitting a signal to your vehicle. That will prevent it from being intercepted and potentially reprogrammed by would-be thieves.
  • Avoid the walk-away lock. You know the one. You’ve parked your vehicle, you’re walking away and you press the lock button from a distance. Because when you use that feature, the signal can be intercepted and used by thieves to steal your car.

Finally, park your car in a garage. Car theft is a crime of opportunity where a car parked outside is easier to steal versus one in a garage. That’s because now the thief has to break into the garage to get the car. And 99% of thieves aren’t going to do that and instead move on to an easier target.

Car theft isn’t going away. And AirTags are not the solution to this. But there are some options that are free or available that can help to protect what is likely your second most expensive possession.

2 Responses to “Car Thieves Appear To Be Looking For AirTags Hidden In Cars Before They Steal The Car…. Plus Some Suggestions As To How Not Be A Victim Of Car Theft”

  1. Some people in Toronto with desirable cars are now installing bollards in their driveways to prevent theft.

  2. There is a Canadian company https://www.tagtracking.ca/how-it-works that provides tracking of vehicles anywhere in North America and even if it is in a shipping container. It is quite inexpensive….and we should be considering Canadian companies first, over US companies. And many Canadian insurance companies are paying for clients with high-end vehicles to have the Tag Tracking system installed or no insurance is offered.

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