Canadian Car Thieves Tracking Victims’ Vehicles With AirTags

Canadian Car Thieves Tracking Victims’ Vehicles With AirTags

A Canadian car theft ring is using Apple AirTags to track and steal expensive cars and SUVs, then shipping them around the world. The news comes as Canada is in the midst of an auto theft epidemic. The Insurance Bureau of Canada says that in 2022 alone, more than 105,000 vehicles were stolen across all of Canada.

Now, comes news that auto theft rings are using a new tool for stealing vehicles: Apple’s AirTags.

“Immediately concerned and scared, and just initially confused,” said Ethan Yang.

The Massachusetts man frequently travels through our region to visit family in Montreal. But a few months ago a routine visit quickly turned into something he couldn’t wrap his head around.

“When I was on my way back, I was about to cross the border, my phone alerted me that there was a tracking device. By the time I realized it, I confirmed it with my phone that was able to make the AirTag beep,” Yang said.

Upon checking, Yang discovered that someone had attached an AirTag to his car and was secretly tracking his movements.

Yang told WCAX that the device was located in the front grill of his vehicle.

And Yang isn’t the only one who has discovered a secreted AirTag on their vehicle. In Burlington, Vermont, police have had two other reports of travelers discovering AirTags hidden in their vehicle.

“They could be identifying vehicles that could be stolen and shipped abroad as part of a car theft ring,” Ryan McLiverty, a cyber analyst with the Vermont Intelligence Center, told WCAX.

AirTags have also helped owners recover their vehicles. In November 2023, A Canadian man’s BMW was quickly recovered after it was stolen, thanks to a hidden Apple AirTag. Saamer Mansoor had hidden an AirTag in his vehicle about six months previously.

Also in November, Washington D.C. officials began handing out AirTags to district residents in areas with a high risk of car theft, in the hopes the trackers could be used to cut down on the number of car thefts in the area.

That program was likely inspired by a May 2023 program by The New York Police Department which gave away 500 free Apple AirTag trackers to be placed inside vehicles.

(Via AppleInsider)