The New York Police Department (NYPD) is encouraging car owners to use Apple AirTags to reduce car theft in the city. The initiative comes after a viral TikTok video demonstrated an easily accessible exploit for breaking into Hyundai and Kia vehicles, causing an uptick in thefts across the United States.
According to a tweet by the NYPD chief, the authorities said that “the 21st century calls for 21st century policing," and an AirTag in a car will help officers recover a car if it is stolen. An accompanying video instructs car owners to get an AirTag and install it in a location in the vehicle where it can’t easily be found.
The 21st century calls for 21st century policing. AirTags in your car will help us recover your vehicle if it’s stolen. We’ll use our drones, our StarChase technology & good old fashion police work to safely recover your stolen car. Help us help you, get an AirTag. #GSD pic.twitter.com/fTfk8p4lye— NYPD Chief of Department (@NYPDChiefOfDept) April 30, 2023
“The 21st century calls for 21st century policing. AirTags in your car will help us recover your vehicle if it’s stolen. We’ll use our drones, our StarChase technology & good old fashion police work to safely recover your stolen car. Help us help you, get an AirTag. #GSD," NYPD Chief of Department tweeted.
The video also demonstrates a car theft scenario, where the owner uses the Find My app to track the car using the AirTag, and the tracking information is relayed to the police. Thanks to the AirTag, officers are able to recover the vehicle and arrest the thief.
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In a press conference on Sunday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that the city will provide 500 free AirTags to car owners. The AirTags will be given to residents in Castle Hill, Soundview, and Parkchester, as these areas have seen a significant increase in stolen Hyundai and Kia vehicles, MacRumors reported.
According to the report, Adams said that the city is committed to using technology to reduce crime and that the AirTag initiative is just the beginning. He also urged car owners to take all necessary precautions to prevent car theft, including locking doors and not leaving valuable items in cars.