February 22, 2024

The town of Washington D.C. will distribute free Apple AirTags to residents in sure neighborhoods, mayor Muriel Bowser introduced on Wednesday. The purpose: to make stolen automobiles simpler for police to trace down.

“We’re equipping residents with know-how that can enable the [Metropolitan Police Department] to handle these crimes, recuperate autos, and maintain individuals accountable,” Bowser stated in a press release, “we’ll proceed to make use of all of the instruments we’ve, and add new instruments, to maintain our metropolis protected.” Native publication DCist first reported the story.

D.C. residents in neighborhoods with the very best numbers of auto theft will likely be eligible to get free AirTags at three totally different occasions within the metropolis over the following few months, beginning subsequent week. It’s not clear what number of AirTags, which value $29 a pop, will likely be given away.

Law enforcement officials will assist residents put the AirTags of their automobiles and register them on their iPhones. If a automobile is stolen, residents might want to report the placement of the automobile because it seems in Apple’s FindMy app to regulation enforcement.

D.C. is the second metropolis at hand out free AirTags to make discovering automobile thieves simpler. Earlier this yr, New York Metropolis mayor Eric Adams introduced that the town would give away 500 AirTags to make discovering automobile thieves simpler. Since then the NYPD has held a number of AirTag and Tile tracker giveaways, specializing in Kia and Hyundai house owners, although it is unclear if these come from the identical provide introduced by the mayor.

AirTags, which Apple launched in 2021, have usually sparked controversy. Critics have stated that they let stalkers observe victims silently with out their information — a security subject Apple ultimately addressed. However the gadgets have additionally been helpful, letting individuals preserve observe of pets, checked baggage and stolen marketing campaign indicators.

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