Apple AirTag tracking device found hidden under marked NYPD vehicle hood

The New York City Police Department said Monday that an Apple AirTag was discovered under the hood of a marked patrol vehicle in Queens.

The small tracking device that connects Apple’s “Find My” network was found in a small plastic baggie on Sunday in a police car.

In response to the discovery, NYPD Chief of Housing Martine Materasso reminded the department to be careful during their inspections of marked cars, given the anti-police attacks across the country. Vehicles should be inspected before and after officer tours.

“Please maintain a heightened state of surveillance, in light of the anti-police sentiment that we have seen not only here, but in the United States,” Materasso wrote in the email to officials, according to the New York Daily News.

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The New York City Police Department said Monday that an Apple AirTag was discovered under the hood of a marked patrol vehicle in Queens.

The New York City Police Department said Monday that an Apple AirTag was discovered under the hood of a marked patrol vehicle in Queens.
(Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“Keep looking out for each other and be safe,” Materasso continued.

Apple announced last year that it was working with law enforcement to prevent “unwanted tracking” through the use of AirTags.

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“AirTag was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person’s property, and we condemn in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products,” Apple said in a statement in Written in February. “Unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem, and we took this concern seriously in the design of AirTag.”

The company said that misuse of AirTags is rare, but that “any instance is one too many.”

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“Each AirTag has a unique serial number, and paired AirTags are associated with an Apple ID. Apple may provide the paired account details in response to a request or valid request from law enforcement,” Apple wrote in its statement. “We have successfully partnered with them on cases where the information we provided was used to trace an AirTag back to the perpetrator, who was then arrested and charged.”

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