The York Regional Police issued a warning on Thursday, saying that thieves are using Apple’s AirTag to track and steal high-end vehicles across York Region.
Since September, officers have investigated five incidents in which suspects placed AirTags on vehicles in order to find and steal them later. They track the targeted vehicles to the victim’s residence, where they are stolen from the driveway.
Thieves typically use tools like screwdrivers to enter the vehicles through the driver or passenger door, while ensuring not to set off alarms. Once inside, an electronic device, typically used by mechanics to reprogram the factory setting, is connected to the onboard diagnostics port below the dashboard and programs the vehicle to accept a key the thieves have brought with them. Once the new key is programmed, the vehicle will start and the thieves drive it away.
- If possible, park your vehicle in a locked garage. Most vehicles are stolen from a driveway
- Use a steering wheel lock. It will also act as a visible deterrent
- Install a lock on the data port. This simple device can be purchased online and blocks access to the computer port where the thieves gain access to reprogram the vehicle’s keys
- Consider purchasing a quality video surveillance system. Ensure cameras are properly placed and functioning for day and night time use. Familiarize yourself with the system so it can be reviewed and accessed easily
- Inspect your vehicle regularly and call police if you notice any suspicious potential tracking devices