Apple tracking device found on police vehicle in central Japan

ByLance T. Lee

Jul 6, 2022

An Apple Inc. tracking device was found attached to an unmarked police vehicle in central Japan suspected of being responsible for a yakuza crime syndicate, investigative sources said Wednesday.

Police allege a criminal organization planted an AirTag, a device marketed for use in locating personal effects, to track investigators’ movements, the sources said. The vehicle the tag was planted on is used to investigate crime syndicates and drug crimes.

The file photo shows an Apple AirTag tracking device. (Photo courtesy of Apple Inc.) (Kyodo)

The commercially available device was found in a black plastic box attached to the vehicle’s muffler in May by an investigator who got into the car in the parking lot of the Toyota Police Station in Aichi Prefecture.

The car park is open to the public. There have been no reports of AirTags being found on other vehicles, the sources said.

The device is about 3.2 centimeters in diameter and sends out a Bluetooth signal that can be detected by a nearby phone or similar device. Using an iPhone app, the owner can then determine the location of the tag which can be attached to objects such as wallets or keys.

Following the incident, Aichi Prefectural Police issued a directive instructing officers to scan their vehicles to ensure no suspicious objects are surreptitiously attached to them.

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