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Car theft is ever-present nationwide, and it doesn’t seem like it’s slowing down any time soon. There were over 745,000 stolen cars reported nationwide for 2022, which could be higher by the end of this year. Fortunately, one North Carolina couple won’t be part of that statistic as they were able to outsmart a thief using a very simple device.

An Apple Airtag saved the day… and a Toyota Camry

A gold used Toyota Camry shows off its sedan side profile and reflective paint.
Toyota Camry | Toyota via Getty Images

Leslie and Antar Muhammad woke up one morning earlier this month and realized that their car was missing. “We woke up, and I looked outside, and I asked my wife, ‘Hey, do you know your car’s no longer in the driveway?’” Antar Muhammad told WRAL News.

Upon checking out the footage from their doorbell camera, the North Carolina couple saw two thieves sneaking up and taking their Toyota Camry. Unfortunately, the Camry is one of the most stolen cars in America, and the Muhammad’s car was no exception. Fortunately, though, the couple placed an Apple Airtag in the car in addition to their wallets, phones, and luggage.

Antar told WRAL news, “One hundred dollars for a pack of 4 – it’s one of the greatest security systems you can have. As soon as we get a new vehicle or new item – backpack, purse, or luggage – I open one up and put one in just for safety measures.”

The couple was able to track the stolen Camry with their iPhones and pinpoint the exact location of the car. Within minutes, the authorities arrived, observed where the car was and tracked it down.

Fox News reports that officers from the Cary Police Department found and recovered the stolen car just before 11 a.m., just two and a half hours after the couple realized it was missing.

Apple Airtags have had some controversy in the past

An Apple AirTag box in an Apple Store.
An Apple AirTag box in an Apple Store. | Getty Images

Although placing an Apple Airtag is a cheap and easy way to put a GPS tracker in your car, some unscrupulous individuals have used them to stalk people and invade their privacy. A Texas woman reported being notified that an Apple Airtag was traveling with her while she was driving. She drove to a police station where officers inspected the car and found an Airtag taped to it.

Luckily, Apple made an announcement that it is taking measures to prevent stalking and invasion of privacy. For example, if you have an iPhone, you’ll receive a notification saying, “Airtag Found Moving With You.”

Is it a good idea to use an Apple Airtag as a security device for your car?

A man holds an Apple Airtag.
A man holds an Apple AirTag | Getty Images

Considering there are no subscription fees, like on other GPS units, to operate an Apple Airtag, it’s a good idea to use one in your car. One Airtag costs $29, and a pack of four costs $100, which is an inexpensive investment to keep your stuff – and your car – secure.   

If you use an Airtag in your car, we recommend hiding it in a secure place that’s tough for a thief to find. That way, if they steal your car and get a notification on their iPhone that there is an Airtag onboard, they won’t be able to find it and throw it away. Worst case, they may end up leaving the car altogether.