Sydney woman's horrifying find hidden in car: 'REAL SCARY'

·3-min read

A Sydney woman says she found a tracking device on her BMW, with police telling her the insidious tactic was becoming more prevalent.

A few weeks ago, Shelley's eldest daughter took the car out. The Mosman mother didn't have her Bluetooth switched on, but her daughter did.

"When she got back from going wherever she's been, she got a notification to say that there was an unrecognised device tracking her," Shelley told Nova 96.9 on Wednesday,

They eventually found the tracking device, in the bonnet of the BMW.

Cars and buses sit in traffic on Military Road during the morning commute in Sydney, Australia, on Monday, May 25, 2020.
A Sydney woman found a tracking device in her car. Source: Bloomberg via Getty Images

There have been several incidents of this nature reported on social media. Last year, a woman from Texas was notified of an AirTag being planted on her and her belongings.

Just like the woman from the US, Shelley and her daughter were able to use Find My iPhone to see how long the device had been tracking them.

"Like it showed the whole map of everywhere she had been, it was really scary," she said on the radio.

"Then the police said there was nothing they could do about it unless someone actually broke into the house and stole the car. So we just had to get it taken off the car."

Shelley did not say what kind of tracking device was found on her car, but it also could have been an Apple AirTag.

Cars and buses sit in traffic on Military Road during the morning commute in Sydney, Australia, on Monday, May 25, 2020.
There have been a few cases of people finding AirTags attached to their vehicles. Source: The Washington Post via Getty Images

What to do if you have an AirTag tracking you

Apple has a list of steps people can take if they find an AirTag that is tracking them and how to disable an AirTag if you find one on you.

Basically, the Find My Phone app is going to aid you in finding a rogue AirTag, though if you use an Android device, there are other options.

Apple says Android users can download the Tracker Detect app from the Google Play Store.

Apple will notify people if an AirTag is potentially tracking them. There are options for Android users too. Source: Apple
Apple will notify people if an AirTag is potentially tracking them. There are options for Android users too. Source: Apple

"Tracker Detect looks for item trackers within Bluetooth range that are separated from their owner and that are compatible with Apple's Find My network," Apple said.

"These include AirTag and compatible item trackers that use the Find My network. If you think someone is using an AirTag or another item tracker to track your location, you can scan to try to find it."

Apple does advise people to contact police if they believe their safety is at risk.

A major issue with tracking devices

Dr Rick Brown, the Deputy Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology told Yahoo News Australia he is not aware of any cases where tracking devices have been used to steal cars but says it makes sense.

"The key is the key. If you can find out where a targeted car is parked overnight, you can break in, steal the key and then steal the car," he said, reiterating he was just hypothesising.

He says GPS tracking devices pose a major issue in cases of domestic violence.

He referred Yahoo News Australia to a recent report which looked at women's experiences with domestic violence and how technology played a part.

Several of the 13 women who took part in the study were tracked by their abusers using GPS technology.

"The ubiquity of technology in women’s lives and the surveillance tactics used by perpetrators often result in women feeling that abuse is inescapable," the report stated.

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