The new Apple product designed to help users keep track of their belongings is now being used to steal vehicles.
This lost object-finding technique is also being used for more nefarious purposes.
Investigators from the York Regional Police Auto and Cargo Theft Unit in Aurora warned residents that they had “identified a new method being used by thieves to track down and steal high-end vehicles” across the area. Thursday blog post,
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Officials said they have looked into five incidents since September in which suspects used simple tracking techniques to commit grand theft autos.
Suspects go about crime by simply placing discarded tracking devices on luxury rides in “out-of-sight areas” while they are parked in “public places such as malls or parking lots.”
Then, once the unsuspecting owner takes the car home, thieves track the vehicle to the victim’s home.
Criminals are able to hack a vehicle’s ignition with an electronic device “usually used by mechanics to re-program the vehicle to factory settings” before exiting the victim’s driveway in their car.
As a preventive measure, law enforcement advises car owners to park “in a locked garage” if they have one, since so far most vehicles have been stolen directly from victims’ driveways. Installing locks on the steering wheel and data port is also recommended, as is installing a video surveillance system, the police write.
York Regional Police said they had seen more than 2,000 car thefts during the past 12 months.
Meanwhile, airtags stateside have been used for the opposite reason: to hunt down stolen vehicles.
In August, Brooklyn Cyber Security CEO Dan Guido detailed his epic relocation of a stolen scooter on Twitter.
Thanks to the two airtags Guido had hidden on the vehicle with black duct tape, he was able to locate it soon after it was stolen.
Apple declined Post’s request for comment.
This article was originally published in New York Post and was reproduced with permission.