New York City handing out AirTags in car theft crackdown

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2023
The NYPD is handing out free AirTags to residents in the city, in a bid to try and cut down the amount of stolen cars in some neighborhoods.

AirTag on a keyring.
AirTag on a keyring.


Crime overall is down in New York, but in one particular instance, the figures have shot up. Vehicle thefts have increased 13% year-on-year in the city, with close to 4,500 thefts reported over the year.

On Sunday, the NYPD and Mayor Eric Adams revealed that 500 AirTags would be provided to people in the 43 Precinct, due to it having the highest level of grand larceny auto cases at more than 200, reports ABC7NY. The AirTags are being donated by nonprofit Association for a Better New York.

"Your phone will be alerted. You know someone's in your car who's not supposed to be, and/or it's stolen. You call 911 as fast as you can. You tell the officers involved 'I have an AirTag, 'and they will immediately with citywide apprehension apparatus will start putting that tag citywide," said NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell.

Residents wanting an AirTag can contact their local precinct to request one, though it is unclear if an effort is made to help Android device owners in the same way.

The move is accompanied by a warning to owners of Hyundai and Kia vehicles to take advantage of a free software update. So far in 2023, 966 such vehicles have been taken.

The 21st century calls for 21st century policing. AirTags in your car will help us recover your vehicle if it's stolen. We'll use our drones, our StarChase technology & good old fashion police work to safely recover your stolen car. Help us help you, get an AirTag. #GSD pic.twitter.com/fTfk8p4lye

-- NYPD Chief of Department (@NYPDChiefOfDept)


A TikTok video explaining to thieves how to steal cars from those brands has been blamed for the uptick in thefts.

AirTag has been useful in tracking down stolen vehicles and other property, but it is always advised to provide details to police rather than for car owners to interfere.

In Texas in April, a truck theft resulted in the suspected thief being shot in the vehicle by the owner. In August 2022, a New York man found his stolen motorbike, but ended up with a broken nose after being beaten by thieves.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    beowulfschmidtbeowulfschmidt Posts: 2,170member
    Dooofus said:
    Of course they could actually prosecute people caught for vehicle theft and send them to prison, but property crimes are given a pass in NY. This is obviously just for show.

    In addition to alerting thieves that they should carry a cheap Android phone and search for Air Tags with Apple's own Tracker Detect app in any of the vehicles they want to steal.
    twokatmewwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    jblongzjblongz Posts: 167member
    Dooofus said:
    Of course they could actually prosecute people caught for vehicle theft and send them to prison, but property crimes are given a pass in NY. This is obviously just for show.
    They do go to prison.

    beowulfschmidt said:
    Dooofus said:
    Of course they could actually prosecute people caught for vehicle theft and send them to prison, but property crimes are given a pass in NY. This is obviously just for show.

    In addition to alerting thieves that they should carry a cheap Android phone and search for Air Tags with Apple's own Tracker Detect app in any of the vehicles they want to steal.
    It has been working so far.  Why such a negative gibe to a concerted effort.  This method is efficient use of taxpayer dollars.  You think all car thieves are reading tech blogs and keeping up with the news?  
    retrogustoronnlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 10
    beowulfschmidtbeowulfschmidt Posts: 2,170member
    jblongz said:
    Dooofus said:
    Of course they could actually prosecute people caught for vehicle theft and send them to prison, but property crimes are given a pass in NY. This is obviously just for show.
    They do go to prison.

    beowulfschmidt said:
    Dooofus said:
    Of course they could actually prosecute people caught for vehicle theft and send them to prison, but property crimes are given a pass in NY. This is obviously just for show.

    In addition to alerting thieves that they should carry a cheap Android phone and search for Air Tags with Apple's own Tracker Detect app in any of the vehicles they want to steal.
    It has been working so far.  Why such a negative gibe to a concerted effort.  This method is efficient use of taxpayer dollars.  You think all car thieves are reading tech blogs and keeping up with the news?  
    I think the business car thieves are already in front of the Air Tag issue, and have been since it came out.  Those guys are aware of most anti-theft measures even before they hit the market; it wouldn't surprise me at all if they'd found a way around it really quickly.

    Thieves of opportunity might not have thought about it too much, but Apple has made enough noise about the anti-stalking features that it wouldn't surprise me if they're at least peripherally aware as well. And NYPD announcing that they're passing out Air Tags will likely make anyone who's doing it more than casually think about how to counter it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 10
    ronnronn Posts: 665member
    Proactive policing FTW! It's about time that a major police force embraced technology instead of having victims acting on their own. With so many numbskulls following the TT video, the particular car companies should have worked faster to eliminate the issue. I don't have any faith that TT will do the right thing and stop the proliferation of this criminal activity on their platform.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 10
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,265member
    Dooofus said:
    Of course they could actually prosecute people caught for vehicle theft and send them to prison, but property crimes are given a pass in NY. This is obviously just for show.
    It’s not just property crimes, but includes stalking, assault without serious injury, drug offenses, some kinds of arson and robbery, assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, trespassing, and so on. 
    edited May 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 10
    kdkkdk Posts: 1member
    Yeah, does anyone really think that 500 AirTags should solve the problem.
    So, NYC solved car thefts with $1250 worth of AirTags.
    Wow, who thinks up this nonsense!  Or should we be asking, who got the kickback!


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 10
    ciacia Posts: 260member
    Once again the conservative commenters on AppleInsider get triggered.
    chasmronnlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,342member
    Dooofus said:
    Of course they could actually prosecute people caught for vehicle theft and send them to prison, but property crimes are given a pass in NY. This is obviously just for show.
    I’ve heard this claim several times from talk-radio listeners, but my friends in NYC tell me it isn’t true. Do you have any documentation of this assertion, with particular regard to your implying that police do not bother with car thefts?
    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 10
    ronnronn Posts: 665member
    chasm said:
    Dooofus said:
    Of course they could actually prosecute people caught for vehicle theft and send them to prison, but property crimes are given a pass in NY. This is obviously just for show.
    I’ve heard this claim several times from talk-radio listeners, but my friends in NYC tell me it isn’t true. Do you have any documentation of this assertion, with particular regard to your implying that police do not bother with car thefts?
    Please don't hold your breath waiting for a reply.  ;)
    beowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
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