Many travelers are planning to hit the road on the busy Memorial Day weekend. One of the worst things that can happen on any road trip is having your car stolen with luggage in the trunk.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has come up with novel solution to deter auto thieves: the use of Apple AirTags as car tracking devices.
At a press conference in New York City this weekend, Mayor Adams announced that the city will be distributing 500 AirTags to city residents living in areas with high rates of auto theft. The devices were donated by the nonprofit Association for Better New York.
City officials are asking car owners to hide the AirTags inside their cars. If stolen, the vehicles will be trackable via iPhone notifications to car owners. Once the owner receives an alert, they can report the moving car to the police department who will be able to track its location.
This simple device, this simple AirTag, hidden in a car location that the person is not aware of is an excellent tracking device,” said Mayor Adams. “It’s easy to monitor. You can see in real-time where the vehicle is located.”
New York is one of a number of cities across the U.S. reporting significant increases in post-pandemic auto thefts and carjackings. A report from the Council on Criminal Justice noted a 59% increase in motor vehicle thefts across 30 cities surveyed from 2019 to 2022. Vehicle thefts more than doubled in eight of the cities and only one city (Baltimore) experienced a decrease in auto thefts.
The large majority of the devices in the New York City program will be given away to vehicle owners in the 43rd Police Precinct in the Bronx, where there has been a 548% increase in stolen Hyundi and Kias, which the Mayor attributed to a manufacturing defect in the cars exacerbated by a TikTok challenge that offers explicit advice on how to jumpstart the cars.
Many travelers already use AirTags to trace the location of luggage and other items (e.g., attaches, handbags, totes) on their phones as they move through airports. Now they might want to put the same device to use in their car’s glove compartment or under the front seat when they hit the road.News Source: Forbes