New York To Give Free Apple AirTags To Residents To Stop Continuous Car Thefts

Category: Crime News

New York City will give out free Apple AirTags to residents as part of an effort to pump the brakes on rampant car thefts, Mayor Eric Adams announced Sunday.

Calling the GPS tracking devices a “really amazing piece of ingenuity,” the mayor said 500 of the gadgets donated by a local nonprofit will be doled out to New Yorkers, including in the NYPD’s 43th Precinct in The Bronx — which has been hit particularly hard by the carjacking scourge.

“The aggravated number of grand larceny autos continues to drive up crime in our city,” said Adams, joined by police officials, at a press conference, while noting that other major crimes — such as shootings, homicides and robberies and larcenies — have been on the downturn.

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

A video posted by the NYPD later in the day demonstrated how the devices would help cops track a stolen vehicle and encouraged motorists to go out and buy the AirTag units on their own.

While he urged New Yorkers to make use of such devices, Adams also said the Association for Better New York had donated 500 of them for cops to hand out.

“We’re going to be handing them out in this precinct, which is really spiking in grand larceny autos,” Adams said from the Castle Hill Library.

Car thefts in the Big Apple have been on the rise, with the number spiking to 4,492 through April 23 this year compared to 3,966 over the same period last year — a more than 13% increase.

The 43rd Precinct, which covers the library where the press conference was held, has already seen 207 vehicles stolen so far this year, city officials said.

“Many of us remember when auto theft was an epidemic on our city streets, when we were worried every single time we parked our cars we know we could leave nothing in them,” ABNY chair Steven Rubenstein said.

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