The number of car thefts in New York is increasing, so the city authorities decided to find a technological way to prevent them. Officials see a partial solution to the problem in the use of AirTag trackers and drones.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the AirTag program, under which 500 trackers will be distributed to city residents. They were provided by the non-profit organization Association for Better New York.

Car thefts in New York are up 13% this year compared to the same period in 2022. City officials hope that the more citizens inconspicuously place AirTags in their cars, the easier it will be to track them. This, in turn, should deter thieves. New York City authorities will distribute most of the AirTag in the Bronx, which has seen a 24% increase in car thefts.

“This simple device, this simple AirTag, hidden in a car location that a person is not aware, of is an excellent tracking device,” Mayor Adams said. “It’s easy to monitor. You can see in real-time where the vehicle is located.”

“Your phone will be alerted. You know someone’s in your car who’s not supposed to be, and/or it’s stolen. You call 911 as fast as you can,” NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell added. “You tell the officers involved ‘I have an AirTag,’ and they will immediately with citywide apprehension apparatus start putting that tag citywide.”

It should be noted that this plan has some drawbacks. In particular, the AirTag is programmed to automatically turn on the sound signal after the owner has left its range (after eight hours and after 24 hours). When the AirTag makes a sound, iOS will also show notifications on nearby iPhones. So even if you hide the AirTag in an inconspicuous place in your car, the iPhone’s sound and notifications will eventually let thieves know they’re being watched.

And do you think AirTags will help reduce car theft?