Thieves in Montreal, Canada have been using Apple’s AirTags to facilitate vehicle theft, according to a report from Vermont news sites WCAX and NBC5 (via 9to5Mac). Police officers in Burlington, Vermont have issued a warning about AirTags for drivers who recently visited Canada.


Two Burlington residents found Apple AirTags in their vehicles after returning from trips to Montreal, and these are not the first reports that officers have encountered. One man, Ethan Yang, said he was coming from Montreal after visiting family, and he was alerted that there was an AirTag traveling with him. He was able to use his phone to make the ‌AirTag‌ beep, and he was able to locate the device, which had been placed in the front grille of the vehicle.

Ryan McLiverty, a cyber analyst at the Vermont Intelligence Center, said that while these incidents have been happening for some time, there has been a new spike in activity. Criminals in Montreal are using AirTags to track cars, steal them, and then sell them abroad. There’s also a possibility that the AirTags are being used to tag cars as part of an effort to move drugs across the border.

Travelers who are concerned about being tracked via an ‌AirTag‌ should know that there are built-in safety features. An ‌AirTag‌ will send an alert if it is not within distance of the person that owns it, and this alert will show up on iPhones. Android phones are also able to detect unknown Bluetooth trackers, including AirTags, plus Apple has a Tracker Detect app that scans for them.

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