Mayor Muriel Bowser, Washington, Apple AirTag

Washington, D.C. Mayor Distributes Free AirTags To Help Combat Car Theft

Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C. wants to stave off his city’s increasing crime rates.

The number of car thefts in D.C. rose by 101% in 2023. That amounts to 5,916 reported car thefts and 754 carjackings this year alone. In comparison to September 2022, the total reported carjackings in September 2023 was 79, which is double the the previous year’s, according to the Daily Mail

In a press conference, Mayor Bowser announced that residents in areas with the highest levels of reported carjackings will receive free Apple AirTags if they own an Apple device, or Tile Trackers for Android users. His announcement arrived a few months after New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced a distribution of 500 AirTags in NYC’s 43rd Precinct to help ward off car thefts.    

AirTags are a tracking device designed by Apple. If a car is stolen, its location can be tracked by searching the location of the AirTag on the Find My app.

“These tags and tiles will help MPD recover stolen vehicles and hold people accountable,” Bowser said.

 “The word will also get out this is not a community to come in and steal cars.”

According to the outlet, truck and delivery drivers will also receive dashcams at the distribution. The number of tags to be distributed at the event has not been confirmed by Police Chief Pamela Smith.

“Motor vehicle thefts and unlawful use of vehicles are up 36 percent this year over last year,” said Smith. 

Police will help install the tags in the cars and will not have access to locating the device. 

The AirTag distribution will take place November 7-9. Residents are required to provide proof of residency and an address that is located in the areas eligible to receive the tracking device.

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