A Toronto man had his vehicle stolen for a second time and while Apple's AirTag inside didn't help recover it — and neither did the police — he got to track it all the way to Dubai.
Andrew, whose last name has been withheld for privacy reasons, had his first 2022 GMC Yukon XL stolen from his home in Toronto in May 2023. After the initial theft, he hid a pair of AirTags inside his second SUV.
In August of 2023, thieves struck again, nabbing his SUV after he returned home from vacation.
Andrew gave the AirTag information to police and watched as his Yukon traveled around Toronto, where police tracked it to a railway yard. However, they claimed to lack the authority to open the shipping container it was believed to be in, and referred Andrew to private security who apparently did nothing.
The SUV then proceeded to make its way via train to the Port of Montreal, where it was placed on a ship. The AirTags then stopped reporting the vehicle's location, likely because of lack of proximity to an iPhone connected to the internet.
Nearly a month later, in early September, Andrew's SUV updated its location from a shipping port in Antwerp, Belgium.
Finally, the vehicle came to an extended rest, more than 6,800 miles away in the United Arab Emirates. It was there a private investigator found Andrew's SUV for sale on a used car lot in Dubai.
The car remains in the used car lot at time of publication.
As CBC points out, Canada is currently dealing with an auto theft epidemic, and Andrew's choice to put an AirTag his Yukon gives police a rare insight into a shipping route used by thieves. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) told CBC it intercepted 1,806 stolen vehicles in 2023, a 34 percent increase from the previous year.
While victims may be tempted to use an AirTag to track their vehicle to the thief's location to confront them, Apple, AppleInsider,, and many law enforcement agencies advise against doing that. Instead, victims of vehicle theft should report the crime to the police as soon as possible.