New York City Mayor Eric Adams has collaborated with the city’s police department to request that residents place Apple AirTags in their vehicles to combat car theft. AirTags are small, circular tracking devices that can help track the location of belongings through the “Find My” app on iPhones.
If a vehicle is stolen with an AirTag inside, the owner can track its whereabouts and work with the police to recover it.
Apple sells AirTags starting at $29, and a non-profit organization in New York has donated 500 of the devices to be distributed for free. The New York City Police Department released a video on Sunday demonstrating how residents can use AirTags to protect their cars.
Jeffrey Maddrey, the chief of the department, stated in a tweet that “21st-century calls for 21st-century policing.”
The NYPD has urged residents to place AirTags in their cars and noted that drones, StarChase technology, and good old-fashioned police work will help recover stolen vehicles. Kia, Hyundai, and Honda cars have been particularly vulnerable to theft, according to Adams, due to a trend circulating on TikTok.
In April, Adams revealed that New York City saw an 890% increase in Kia thefts at the end of last year and a 766% increase in Hyundai thefts in the preceding months. The city has joined a national lawsuit aimed at holding vehicle manufacturers accountable for failing to install standard anti-theft measures in certain models.
Adams believes that AirTags are an “excellent” tracking device that will help reduce car theft in the city. “Using technology to fight crime, protect people, save property is the direction this administration and this police department is going in,” Adams stated during the press conference on Sunday.