Skip to main content

The Apple AirTag has made its way into the news a lot recently, but not for its typical intended use. The AirTag is mainly meant to track personal items like backpacks, cell phones, and handbags in case the owner loses them. However, many car owners have used them as inexpensive GPS tracking devices in their cars with moderate success.

We recently reported on a couple that used an Apple AirTag to recover their Toyota Camry hours after it was stolen. Now, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) is asking residents to put AirTags in their cars to help track them in the event of theft.

The NYPD tweeted, “Help us help you, get an AirTag.”

A group of NYPD police officers.
A group of NYPD police officers. | Getty Images

We’re fortunate to live in an age where law enforcement can use various forms of advanced technology to track stolen cars. According to an article posted by CNBC, the NYPD tweeted that it uses “drones, StarChase technology, and old-fashioned police work” to track stolen cars. But it’s now urging residents to take it a step further and put an Apple AirTag in their cars.

“Help us help you, get an AirTag,” a recent NYPD tweet said. The New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, also added during a press conference that the AirTag is “an amazing piece of ingenuity.” Adams hopes that if residents start widely using AirTags, the car theft rates in the city will slow down.

“Using technology to fight crime, protect people, save property is the direction this administration and this police department is going in,” Adams said.

According to a New York City press release, there was an 890% increase in Kia thefts at the end of last year, and Hyundai thefts were up by 766%. The mayor attributes the rise in theft rates to a popular trend circulating on TikTok.

The Apple AirTag is a simple and cheap tracking device

A man holds up an Apple AirTag
Apple AirTag | Getty Images

Although an Apple AirTag won’t prevent a car from being stolen, it will help when it comes time to recover it. In short, the AirTag emits a signal via Bluetooth. The tag can then be tracked by the owner’s iPhone with the “Find My” app. Fortunately, the AirTags have a long 12-month battery life, so leaving one in a car for a long time isn’t an issue.

Best of all, Apple AirTags only cost $29 each, or $100 for a pack of four, which is a lot cheaper than most of the GPS tracking systems in the market.

Should you use an Apple AirTag to track your car?

An ad for the Apple AirTag
Apple AirTag ad | Getty Images

If you live in an area where car theft is prevalent, it’s a great idea to purchase an Apple AirTag and stick it in your car – especially if you own a Kia or Hyundai. Also, if you only have one car, you can buy a pack of four and use the other three to track your personal belongings like they were intended to be used. Or, if you live in New York City, you can stick all four of them in various places in the car. That way, if a thief finds one, the other three will emit a signal.