Skip to content
“The bad guys just use them for the wrong reasons” – CBS Philly

RADNOR, Pa. (CBS) — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro less than two weeks ago issued a warning about an increase in Apple AirTag crimes. Authorities say criminals are using the small tracking devices to steal cars and even stalk their victims.

Radnor Township Police are investigating several suspicious incidents this year.

READ MORE: Beards replace masks at Wells Fargo Center as James Harden makes home debut for Sixers

It’s a neat idea intended to make life easier – to help people find their phone, their keys, and even their furry friend – but this quarter-sized tracking device may have already outgrown its consequences, leaving you and your family exposed.

“Unfortunately the bad guys just use them for the wrong reasons,” Radnor Township Det said. says TJ Schreiber.

Schreiber warns of an alarming trend in Apple AirTag crimes, where thieves hide the devices on a car or in someone’s purse or backpack, then follow their victims, seeking to steal or stalk their victims. targets.

“The bad guys just use them for the wrong reasons” – CBS Philly

“We had a family traveling over the holidays between Christmas and New Years, parking their car in a short-term parking lot at Philadelphia International Airport,” Schreiber said. “When they arrived at their home here in Radnor Township, one of the family members received an alert on their iPhone that a tracking device had been located near them.”

Experts say it’s no surprise that these beacons are becoming more prevalent.

“We saw that kick at the end of ’21, now in ’22,” Schreiber said.

They are relatively inexpensive – around $25 each – but very accurate.

“Almost to the millimeter where these things are tracked,” Schreiber said.

Eyewitness News wanted to test how it works. We put an AirTag in a reporter’s pocket and walked a half-mile loop around police headquarters. Within minutes, Schreiber could see every turn we made.

“The bad guys just use them for the wrong reasons” – CBS Philly

READ MORE: Mason Hall sentenced to 32 years in prison for raping Jogger in Norristown Park

“I just pinged you on Lancaster Avenue,” he said.

In a statement, Apple said, “We take the security of our customers very seriously. AirTag is designed with a set of proactive features to discourage unwanted tracking that inform users if an unknown AirTag might be with them and deter bad actors from using an AirTag for nefarious purposes.

“The bad guys just use them for the wrong reasons” – CBS Philly

While Apple devices automatically send a notification – “an AirTag found moving with you” – Android products need a third-party app, such as Tracker Detect, to receive the same alert. Both can also ping that device to help you find it.

What should someone do if they think they are being followed?

First of all, the best thing to do is to do nothing – don’t disable any suspicious tags.

“Once you turn it off, there’s information we’ll never be able to get,” Schreiber said.

Instead, experts advise going to a well-lit common area, such as a grocery store, and calling the police. Agents will help find the tag and get valuable information like a device serial number.

“Don’t ignore it, don’t think it’s okay, especially if you have kids,” Schreiber said.

Experts also note that while these crimes are frightening, the very existence of the technology is not just a boon for the crooks but also for the cops.

NO MORE NEWS: Philadelphia removes mask mandate for most indoor public spaces; Masking in schools is set to end next week

“You know what, we can catch you using it as well,” Schreiber said.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.