Crowley Police: Apple AirTag facilitating crime

Apple AirTag
Posted at 6:50 PM, Dec 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 20:02:46-05

A popular stocking stuffer this year has some in law enforcement out with a warning.

Apple AirTags could be used for more than just tracking lost items.

"This is a whole new level of stalking; this could be planted anywhere," Crowley Chief of Police Jimmy Broussard said.

Chief Broussard told KATC that in the past month, his department has seen two cases of people concerned about a notification they received on their iPhones. He said while this number may not seem like a lot, his department isn't alone — departments in other parishes are seeing it as well.

"We see crime evolving into something new, you know the old days of just breaking in and stealing a television and leaving, that's by the wayside," he said. "You know, today we're seeing, using means of internet and media and technology; they're committing bigger crimes."

The police chief said that these devices can facilitate a variety of crimes for criminals.

"This has kind of been linked to sex trafficking, where they can keep an eye on them until it's a 'good time' so it's a very dangerous situation."

He also said that criminals are using the AirTags to track cars in order to steal them, but you may be wondering what an AirTag even is.

KATC spoke with Joey Guidry, owner of Cite Technology Solutions in Lafayette, who has more than 20 years of industry experience who explained.

"It helps you find any personal item that may get lost. The way that it connects back to iCloud is that it connects to other iPhones and other devices to alert you where that device is, so it can be used to track your personal items or anyone else that you -- or track anybody else follow anybody else."

But when it comes to being worried, the chief told KATC this:

"I'm not trying to scare people, I'm just saying we have to be cautious in today's society."

Guidry said he agrees.

"With anything that you might not know about like air tags or any other tracking device -- you know being cognizant of how that technology works and protecting yourself is the most important thing."

Apple's website says AirTag is "designed to discourage unwanted tracking," which is why you may receive an unusual notification to your iPhone.

Officers, however, still encourage you to report any suspicious activity you experience so they can help you — noting that if they can't, a mechanic can.

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