Mayor Eric Adams, Pro-Palestinian Protestors, Columbia University, Arrests

New York City Mayor Eric Adams Cracks Down on Car Theft With Apple AirTag Giveaway

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has a new strategy to deter car thefts—free Apple Airtags.

That’s right. Fox News reported, thanks to a donation from The Association for Better New York, a nonprofit, 500 AirTags will be handed out to car owners in the city. Apple AirTags are GPS tracking devices that attach to personal belongings to keep track of them. Calling them “easy to monitor,” Adams said at a press conference that car theft is taking a toll on the city. “The aggravated number of grand larceny autos continues to drive up crime in our city,” Adams explained. “This simple device, this simple AirTag, hidden in a car location that a person is not aware, of is an excellent tracking device.”

Police officers will hand out the devices, including officers covering the 43rd Precinct in the Bronx. According to Adams, crime has risen in the Castle Hill neighborhood.

Business Insider reports car thefts, specifically Hyundais and Kias, have skyrocketed after a viral TikTok trend. In 2021, a TikTok user posted a video showing how a thief could easily start a Kia by turning an internal switch with a simple tool. Data shows NYPD received reports of 104 Hyundais and 99 Kias stolen last December.

The trend prompted stolen car reports across the country. In Charlotte, North Carolina, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police hosted a steering wheel lock giveaway on April 29. One hundred devices were given away on a first-come, first-served basis to residents who owned a Hyundai or Kia dated between 2011-2021 with a key lock.

Eric Adams (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

While AirTags are simple, lawmakers are worried the GPS tracker will promote another crime—stalking. Last June, a woman from Indiana was suspicious of her boyfriend cheating on her. Using the AirTag, she tracked him down and then killed him.

Republican Sen. Nathan Manning claims they are “dangerous,” but Apple released a statement assuring the opposite. “Unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem, and we took this concern seriously in the design of AirTag.”