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Where do people hide AirTags on cars?

NYC to distribute Apple AirTags to fight rising car thefts

The 500 AirTags will help track down stolen cars, Mayor Eric Adams says.

May 2, 2023, 3:29 PM
Apple AirTags in San Francisco, Calif., March 14, 2022.
The Washington Post via Getty Images, FILE

New York City will give away 500 Apple AirTags to prevent rising car thefts, Mayor Eric Adams announced Sunday.

The city hopes that adding this tracking technology will help the New York Police Department recover stolen cars and deter thieves amid rising rates of car thefts citywide. Kias and Hyundais are particularly vulnerable to theft after a viral TikTok campaign from last summer demonstrated how the cars can be easily stolen.

«As soon as we’re notified about a grand larceny auto — and even if it’s days later — we can still track the car and find the person who’s driving and put a brake on what we are experiencing in this city with grand larceny autos,» Adams said at a press conference on Sunday.

The NYPD’s Crime Prevention Unit’s distribution plan will focus on the precincts with the highest number of thefts to ensure AirTags are equitably doled out, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office told ABC News.

The 500 AirTags were donated by the Association of a Better New York, and the city will be fundraising to purchase more AirTags or similar tracking devices that will be distributed throughout the community.

An AirTag is a small tracking device that emits a Bluetooth signal to notify the owner of its location. Drivers will be able to hide the AirTags in their cars to evade being spotted by would-be thieves. If a vehicle is stolen, the owner can notify the NYPD, and the police department can track the vehicle. The NYPD said it will not have the ability to track an AirTag without the owner’s permission.

«Hopefully we recover your car undamaged, we take a bad guy off the street and you get your car back to conduct your business and it doesn’t impose on your life,» said John M. Chell, the NYPD’s chief of patrol.

The city is confronting a rash of car thefts this year. There have been 4,793 grand larceny autos documented this year, an increase of nearly 14% from the year before, according to the NYPD. So far, 966 Hyundais and Kias have been stolen in New York City this year, Chell said.

In April, the city announced that it was joining a national lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai for not equipping the cars with anti-theft measures following the increase in thefts.

New York’s attorney general was among the group of 18 who called on the federal government to issue a recall of Kia and Hyundai car models that lack anti-theft controls, saying the thefts of Hyundai and Kia vehicles have led to «at least eight deaths» as well as «numerous injuries and property damage.»

Kia said in a statement that it has rolled out a free, enhanced security software upgrade to prevent thefts and is also providing free steering wheel locks for impacted owners.

«Lawsuits against Kia by municipalities are without merit,» the company said. «Kia has been and continues to be willing to work cooperatively with law enforcement agencies in New York to combat car theft and the role social media has played in encouraging it.»

Hyundai said in a statement that it has taken action to assist its customers by making anti-theft engine immobilizers standard on all vehicles produced as of November 2021, rolling out a free software upgrade to prevent the thefts, introducing a program to offer insurance for affected customers and reimbursing customers for the purchase of steering wheel locks.

Thieves are using Apple AirTags to steal cars. Here’s how to stop them.

Tracking devices can be a handy way of making your stuff easier to find. Unfortunately, they have some more sinister uses too. Here, we explain how you can stop thieves from using AirTags to steal your car.

What are AirTags?

AirTags and other similar products are basically small, magnetic tracking devices. You can stick them to things (like your bunch of keys) and then use an app to locate them. Kind of like our Find My Car feature (which has a good track record of foiling thieves ).

Similar products include Samsung Galaxy Smart Tags, the Tile Pro, Chipolo One and Cube Shadow.

How are criminals using AirTags to steal cars?

When criminals see a car they like the look of, they’ll hide the tracking device on it. That way they can find out where it’s kept, so they can drop by and try to take it later (usually at night).

The thieves using AirTags to steal cars are usually part of organised gangs with some quite sophisticated tricks up their sleeves. This includes reprogramming cars to accept different keys . Basically, not the sort of people you want rocking up to your driveway.

How do I check for AirTags on my car?

If you have an iPhone, it should alert you to the presence of any AirTags that appear to be on or around you, but aren’t registered to you. Given the number of notifications our phones throw at us, they can be easy to ignore – but this is something you should pay attention to.

The notification will give you the option to ‘Play Sound’. Selecting this will make the tracker beep, which should help you find it.

If you don’t have an iPhone, you can download Apple’s Tracker Detect app . This will scan your surroundings for AirTags and other trackers.

AirTags are designed so that they should automatically start beeping after 24 hours of being separated from their owner. The idea being that this stops them being used to snoop and spy. Unfortunately, 24 hours is probably all thieves need to figure out where you park your car.

What do I do if I find an AirTag on my car?

Call the police. It may just help them catch the people responsible. If you hold your iPhone up to the white side, you should see a notification that will tell you who the tracker belongs to – and give you the option to disable it. Alternatively, you can get old school and take it down by twisting the back and taking out the battery . (It might be an idea to pop on gloves, just in case the police are able to get prints from it).

Unfortunately, there is a chance that thieves may have already been able to figure out where your car is parked at night. So it makes sense to invest in some extra deterrents. Steering wheel locks are a great way to put thieves off – partly because they’re so visible. Some other security upgrades to consider would include an immobiliser if you don’t have one, or a tracking device you can use find your car if it’s taken. (If you’re with us, your Miles Tracker will do the job).


Making sure your parking space is lit up, on camera or somehow inaccessible will all help put off thieves.

You can find more crime prevention tips in our guide to catalytic converter theft .

Seeing as you’ve taken the time to read this, you’re probably a safety-conscious sort of driver. If you’re also doing under 7,000 miles a year (as most people are) you could find pay-by-mile insurance is a great way to save. Why not get a quote and see?

Where Should I Hide A GPS Tracker on a Car?

There are many online diagrams/blogs mentioning where to hide your GPS tracker and many of them are not ideal nor a good hiding spot. Here I will detail out many different scenarios, factors and situations which can help steer you to the right direction.

Its important to always do some research before purchasing GPS Trackers or even placing one under a vehicle. If the other individual finds out you’re tracking them your whole plan can fail, cause a legal conflict and this is why you should read below carefully as to where to hide a GPS Tracker on a Car/Truck/Van.

Where To Hide a GPS Tracker on a Car Safely

You have many options to hide a GPS Tracker and making sure you do not obstruct the Antenna as it transmits the location for you.

Below are many examples of where you can hide a GPS Tracker.

Under the Steering Wheel, (Above the Pedals)

Most Cars have a lot of open space to place your GPS Tracker deep inside the dashboard where the steering wheel is. This place is highly recommended if you have access to the vehicle on a regular basis and if your GPS Device is rather small either Hard Wired or Magnetic. Of course there is no place a magnet will stick here. So what you can do is use a Brand Name Strong Velcro Adhesive which will stick to the inside walls. One side of the Velcro Sticks to the GPS Tracker and the other Sticks to where you wish to place it.

Depending on the vehicles some may have less or more area to hide things. This is very common for luxury cars such as Mercedes Benz, Jaguars, Porsche and so forth as there aren’t many hiding spots.

Recommended** You can always visit your local dealership to check out the vehicle you’re tracking to inspect the insides and exterior for hiding spots. Or take advantage of YouTube.

Under the Car

If you have a waterproof & magnetic GPS Tracker make sure its properly sealed by closing any open parts or screws. You can also check out our High Rating IPX7 Water Proof GPS Trackers .

With most high end cars there may be plastic coverings throughout the bottom of the vehicle leaving very few metallic spots to place the Tracker. Check your local dealership or visit a non local mechanic and lift up your vehicle to easily find hiding spots for a GPS Tracker. When you visit the Mechanic ask them to inspect your car for any magnetic devices but really you’re looking for hiding spots. You can also lie down and check under the car for hiding spots. Do not place the tracker near the exhaust as it produces a lot of heat and can damage your device.

Some vehicles allow you to easily reach far up in the car and stick the device to a metal surface. The chassis of any car is metallic and can be an ideal place. See below for a diagram showing the chassis.

The long metals on each side of the car is the chassis. Here you can place the Tracker either on top or under it. On Top is recommended as the device has less chances of falling from a sudden bump or weak magnets.

Our trackers have very strong magnets making it very unlikely to fall off. Note** As long as you place the whole magnet surface area of the tracker on full metal then you’re fine. Some vehicles have rust proof coating which significantly (95%) reduces the magnetic hold and should not be placed there.

Depending how big your Magnetic tracker is we do recommend to not make the device stick out so much like below image, because:

1. Someone driving from behind can see something sticking out and mention to the driver

2. The driver can walk back to their car and at a distance can see something sticking out.

3. It can hit against a bump and fall off depending how low the car is or how fast the driver passes by a speed bump.

Inside Framing of the Wheels HIGHLY NOT RECOMMENDED**

No matter the size of your GPS Tracker this location is very visible & prone to falling off especially in snowy areas. Place the device here at your own risk.

In the Front or Rear Bumper

We don’t recommend removing the bumpers as it can damage or leave signs of tampering and very labor intensive. Instead we recommend using Velcro to stick the GPS Tracker inside the bumper so it wont move around when the car turns therefore not alarming the driving of any sounds. Some Vehicles have a metal rod holding the bumper to the body of the vehicle therefore you can place the device touching the metal rod while its sitting in the bumper. Ziploc can also hold the tracker tight against the metal rod. See below image as a real life example (The black device with green light is a tracker deep inside under the vehicle bumper against metal on two sides)

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