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Are you being tracked? Police say criminals are using AirTags for the wrong reasons

"Extremely dangerous stalking, aggravated stalking, homicides."
Posted at 7:11 PM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 05:10:44-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Most recently law enforcement in Indiana says a woman is accused of using an AirTag to track a man to a location where he was meeting another woman and then fatally ran him over.

There have been multiple other reports from law enforcement across the country of AirTags being used to track people and used for the wrong purposes.

The AirTag became popular in 2021 to help find your keys or attach to anyone belonging you didn't want to lose.

They cost around $30 a piece which is less than most tracking devices but the scary part is they are hard to find as police say they can be attached to cars even in the wheel wells, purses, or backpacks.

A device branded by Apple as a quote "super-easy way to keep track of your stuff. On your radar in the find my app right on your cellphone."

But that's not all they are being used for as police say criminals are actually using them to commit crimes, something Cape Coral Police Officer Brandon Sancho has seen first hand stating, "Stalking, aggravated stalking I mean you can’t really fix things to people's vehicles that are not yours but that’s kind of what it leans into.

"When I was on the road I actually personally did see a juvenile female who was being tracked by an unknown person, she got a notification on her phone that said there was an air tag being used to track her location.

"We searched her car in the parking lot where she worked for about an hour and were unable to find it. Her dad said she was going to bring it to the mechanic to see if they could find it. They tracked her from the place that she was working all the way back to her home which we followed her back to make sure it was still tracking and it was."

They are really hard to find because of the size.

Explaining further Officer Sancho said, "We have seen on the road reports of these air tags being fixed to people's stuff or locating them."

"I think it’s pretty scary; I’ve seen it on the news once or twice I think anybody can find where you live or anything like that they can break in your home," says Maxwell Buchberger.

Another concerned person was Whitney Hall saying, "I know what they are and I think it’s bad news."

Officer Sancho says the AirTags are difficult to find because they are so small and can be placed really anywhere, "So these actual Apple air tags are making it difficult for people who are true victims and people who shouldn’t be tracking being tracked by these people.

He says “The ultimate goal I can see that Apple was positive, you could put at the bottom of your children shoes while they’re playing at the park you could stick it on your dog's collar and your purse for your belongings or your keys stuff like that but just like with anything there are people who have bad intentions are using them to commit crimes."

Police say sometimes you can get an alert on your phone that you are being tracked but police add sometimes you may not get an alert at all. They say the best thing you can do is check your phone settings. Also - always pay attention to your surroundings, look around your car, and double-check your bags.

"I think that they should be banned it’s just technology is great but at the end of the day you get domestic violence situation or something along those lines I think it really puts people in danger," says Hall.

Police say if you think you are being tracked or if you do notice one in your purse or any of your possessions on your vehicle call the police immediately. You can also go straight to the police department.

Police say that way they can properly record it and that the AirTags are registered to apple so police will take it as evidence. Police say don’t touch it leave it in place so they can swab for prints and submit it for evidence.