By: April Carson
Most of the time, this lost item-finding technology is being used for more devious activities. Carjackers have been utilizing the Find My iPhone app to track down and steal cars, as the app allows the owner of the phone to remotely disable the car if it's been stolen.
According to a police report from Ontario, Canada, criminals are repurposing $29 AirTag devices that Apple released in April to help customers keep track of belongings. The AirTag device attaches to car keys and gives off a signal for the Find My Phone app.
York Regional Police's Auto and Cargo Theft Unit in Aurora has warned local residents that they've discovered a "new method being employed by thieves to track and steal high-end vehicles" across the region, according to a Thursday blog post.
Since September, five crimes have been committed by suspects who used the little-known tracking technology to steal automobiles. The thefts have all taken place in York Region, where the AirTag device was purchased.
The suspects "use a portable device to track and follow the victim's vehicle," reads the post. "Once they have located the car, they steal it."
Police believe that criminals are purchasing AirTags devices in bulk and using them to steal cars from inside schools, shopping malls and other secure areas.
Investigators expect to see similar crimes in the future.
"This is something we've never really seen before," Constable Laura Nicolle of York Regional Police told CBC News on Thursday morning. "I'm not currently aware of any police service that has investigated these particular thefts."
The probable robbers hide tracking devices in "out-of-sight locations" on pricey automobiles while they're parked in "public places like malls or parking lots." Then, once the unsuspecting owner has driven the automobile home, the criminals track it to the victim's house.
Before driving off in their own vehicle, criminals use an electronic gadget "typically used by mechanics to reprogram the factory setting" to hack into the car's ignition.
Most cars thus far have been stolen directly from the driveway, according to law enforcement, which recommends parking in a locked garage if you have one.
Installing locks on the steering wheel and data port are also advised, as is setting up a video surveillance system.
According to the police, there have been more than 2,000 automobile thefts in the Greater Toronto Area during the last year.
Meanwhile, AirTags has been utilized for the opposite purpose in the United States: to find stolen cars. Brooklyn cybersecurity CEO Dan Guido described his remarkable scooter relocation on Twitter in August. Guido was able to find the automobile immediately after it was stolen thanks to two AirTags he'd placed on it with black duct tape.
Apple did not respond to The Washington Post's request for a statement.
VEHICLE THEFT WARNING AND PREVENTION TIPS
About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
LOOKING TO INVEST IN 4BIDDENKNOWLEDGE? CLICK HERE TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION AND GET INVOLVED WITH 4BIDDENKNOWLEDGE TV AND BECOME PART OF THE MOVEMENT!
CLICK THE LINK TO INVEST