AirTags help Toronto man track down stolen Range Rover

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 28
Three AirTag trackers helped the owner of the SUV locate the vehicle, which was then recovered by police.




After having his first Range Rover stolen a month ago, a man from the Avenue Road and Lawrence Avenue area of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, purchased an identical unit to replace the lost vehicle.

The first unit was never found, as the thief as thrown the owner's wallet and family members' phone out of the Rover before driving off with it in an apparent attempt to prevent tracking. "The thieves were able to disable the tracker in my car, put there by the manufacturer," according to the man, who for safety concerns has been identified only by his first name, Lorne.

These thieves were also able to steal the car despite him having placed his keys into a faraday box, which prevents criminals remotely copying a key fob and mimicking its signal to unlock the car.

Consequently Lorne decided to place three AirTags in this second vehicle. According to a report by cp24.com, he placed one in the glovebox, one inside the spare tire, and a third under the back seat.

This SUV was parked away from the garage on June 22. At 8:30 am the very next day, Lorne was woken up by his children shouting "Daddy, daddy, your car is gone."

He was able to use the Find My app to follow the car to a metal recycling plant in the nearby Scarborough district. Lorne was unable to contact law enforcement after arriving at the plant, which led him to drive to the police station instead. It is usually considered dangerous to go after a criminal in this manner.

"It's pretty scary, but you can't live your life in fear," he said. Following his contacting the authorities, his car was found, along with several others. "The next day I was told they recovered nine cars," said Lorne, as he confirmed that his car was among those recovered."

Users are increasingly relying on AirTags to help recover missing items. An army wife was reported to having used AirTags to ensure contractors had properly transferred belongings she and her husband had during a transfer in January 2022.

In May, a man was able to make a connecting flight in time when he was able to request for his skiing gear to be reunited with him with the information the trackers provided. Earlier this week on Wednesday, a YouTuber was able to locate his missing luggage after the airline failed to find it themselves.

AirTags have also been used by unsavory actors to stalk their victims. Earlier in February, a woman discovered one hidden inside her vehicle, which led to the arrest of her stalker.

Apple's AirTags used in stalking incidents led Apple to introduce more anti-stalking features to the tracker. The device has also prompted lawmakers and school authorities to attempt to legislate against such uses.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    tangeytangey Posts: 25member
    First few stories like this and it'll quickly become standard practice to store stolen cars out of signal reach of casual passers by, and will become a rule that none in the theft group carry an iphone.
    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,839member
    These thieves were also able to steal the car despite him having placed his keys into a faraday box, which prevents criminals remotely copying a key fob and mimicking its signal to unlock the car.

    I feel like this part deserved a bit more explanation.
    ravnorodomJWSCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 11
    I always put an AirTag in every piece of luggage I check in. It’s pretty good, and can really make a difference in case the suitcase is lost.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,999member
    frank777 said:
    These thieves were also able to steal the car despite him having placed his keys into a faraday box, which prevents criminals remotely copying a key fob and mimicking its signal to unlock the car.

    I feel like this part deserved a bit more explanation.

    May have gone old school and just dragged it onto a flatbed.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,919member
    Fake news. Everybody knows there’s no crime in Canada.

    If the thieves were iPhone users, surely they would be warned there was an unknown ‘device’ travelling with them?
    edited June 28 RonnyDaddywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,978member
    frank777 said:
    These thieves were also able to steal the car despite him having placed his keys into a faraday box, which prevents criminals remotely copying a key fob and mimicking its signal to unlock the car.

    I feel like this part deserved a bit more explanation.
    Why?  It's to the point.  What do you feel needs explanation?

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    ravnorodomravnorodom Posts: 501member
    frank777 said:
    These thieves were also able to steal the car despite him having placed his keys into a faraday box, which prevents criminals remotely copying a key fob and mimicking its signal to unlock the car.

    I feel like this part deserved a bit more explanation.
    Faraday box shields outside signal from getting in. Hi-tech thief has this equipment that can remotely (a few feet away) obtain signal from a fob to access the car. I read it somewhere long ago.
    edited June 28 RonnyDaddywatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,892member
    mcdave said:
    Fake news. Everybody knows there’s no crime in Canada.

    If the thieves were iPhone users, surely they would be warned there was an unknown ‘device’ travelling with them?

    Sssshhhhhhhhh! Thieves are not known for intelligence. Don't give them any clues or advice!

    I'm more concerned that the subject of this article felt it was wise to leave a wallet in the car if theft was a known concern.
    edited June 28 watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,607member
    frank777 said:
    These thieves were also able to steal the car despite him having placed his keys into a faraday box, which prevents criminals remotely copying a key fob and mimicking its signal to unlock the car.

    I feel like this part deserved a bit more explanation.

    A "faraday box" is just a term use to describe any covering that blocks outside radio waves. It need not be a six sided box made of metal mesh, like what most would envision.

    A key fob uses a RFID chip to store it's data. A scanner can read that data from a few feet away. Like when the key is in your pocket or purse. Think of the  anti-theft security chip on high price retail store items. They use a RFID chip, that can read by a scanner when exiting the store. So you can put your key in a "faraday box" to prevent this. This is consider a "faraday box".


    There are also wallets that are "faraday box" to prevent thieves from reading your CC number off an embedded RFID chip used for contactless transactions, like when standing in a check out line. But I read that if you keep two or three CC with RFID chip, in a regular wallet, the scanner can not zone in on any one of the CC, to read its number. 



    edited June 28 viclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,185member
    sflocal said:
    frank777 said:
    These thieves were also able to steal the car despite him having placed his keys into a faraday box, which prevents criminals remotely copying a key fob and mimicking its signal to unlock the car.

    I feel like this part deserved a bit more explanation.
    Why?  It's to the point.  What do you feel needs explanation?
    No.  It’s a fair point.  How many people would know to do that?  What’s this guy’s background?  How much does he know about the auto theft ‘industry’ and what other countermeasures did he take?
  • Reply 11 of 11
    tangeytangey Posts: 25member
    So you put the key in a faraday pouch to stop the relay exploit working. Most manufacturers of new cars now no longer require this, they have put movement sensors in the key, if the key has not moved for X minutes, the key switches off all its wireless functionality, and therefore the relay system can not talk to a key that has not moved for a while.

    The story infers that the car wasn't physically lifted and they managed to drive it away even though the key was in a pouch. There is another exploit on some cars, whereby a laptop can be plugged into the ODB port on the car, and but some magic, can then start the car. Perhaps this is what they did.
    ravnorodom
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