The New York Police Department and New York City Mayor Eric Adams asked residents to fight vehicle theft in the city by putting Apple AirTags in their cars today.
“The 21st century calls for 21st century policing,” NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey wrote on Twitter today. “AirTags in your car will help us recover your vehicle if it’s stolen. We’ll use our drones, our StarChase technology and good old fashion police work to safely recover your stolen car. Help us help you, get an AirTag.”
This NYPD call for AirTags is designed to be a solution for the rise in thefts of certain Hyundai and Kia models popularized on TikTok. A solution to the easily stolen Hyundais and Kias is out for some models, but that doesn’t mean the problem has gone away.
If you buy an AirTag for your car, it could make it easier for police to get it back from whoever stole it in the first place, assuming you share tracking information with the cops. That doesn’t make it a foolproof solution, though. AirTags are designed with a feature to let others know when one might be following them around in an effort to reduce their effectiveness for stalkers and other nefarious purposes. If a thief with an iPhone steals your car with an AirTag in it, they’re going to be notified of the AirTag’s presence. Android apps can also scan for the presence of an AirTag, so it can be found no matter the thief’s phone choice. Maybe hide it in a good spot?
To get this campaign kicked off, the city says it’s handing out 500 free AirTags to residents to put in their cars. If you aren’t lucky enough to get a free one, AirTags are relatively affordable at $29 each. There’s no guarantee that it will help you recover your car once it’s stolen, but it’s never a bad idea to try.