AirTag tracks stolen Yukon from Toronto to Dubai

Originally published at: AirTag tracks stolen Yukon from Toronto to Dubai


This guy has done some pretty serious investigations into air freight, as well as tracking thefts-Air tags and DHL


Where is the insurance company in all this? I mean, I get the frustration of having a second vehicle stolen from your driveway in as many months, but it would seem like the entity with the most skin in the game would be his insurer, yet there wasn’t a mention of them in the article.

If they aren’t doing anything to help, then they owe Andrew a new vehicle and no increase in premiums.


The AirTag shouldn’t even have been needed. A '22 Yukon would have OnStar. Maybe I’m wrong, but even if OnStar wasn’t user-enabled (i.e., paid for) it could still be used to find a stolen vehicle. But that probably requires the cops to request it so… nevermind.


DC police are offering free tags to car owners due to a car theft epidemic that claimed 6,829 cars last year.

After reading this post I’m wondering if it’s really a way to offload the efforts to reclaim a vehicle back to the owner.

In the first four days of '24 53 cars were stolen in DC.


Good, grief, that photo, tho… Is that really Dubai?
It looks like someplace far scarier.

“One does not simply drive a '22 GMC Yukon XL into Mordor!”


FWIW, This seems like one leg of an informal value transfer system (IVTS) whereby value is physically moved to satisfy/offset currency transfers. It makes sense to send money back from North America to the old country, especially if the old country’s financial system is limited somehow.

Dubai already is far scarier


Dubai is where most luxury watches that are stolen in the UK end up.

The emirate doesn’t give a shit about anyone else and doesn’t care about enforcing laws so long as their tacky faux-gilt paradise keeps going.


Locally I’ve been reading about car theft where the cars are still in the city, the owners know exactly where they are, and the cops still don’t respond. I understand not responding to burglaries and minor thefts, but you’d think car thefts, especially when the cops are handed results on a platter, would be easy wins for them to brag about in the statistics.

“We’d really like some hard data about where these cars we’re not recovering are ending up!”


If I’m following along.

I can see why he wanted police response at this point. End it early, maybe the car is worth recovering.

I can see why he still wanted policy response at this point. Someone shipped it not just joy riding, car is probably still salvageable and not wrecked. It’s still within reach, if more difficult.

I don’t get why he cares anymore at this point. It’s why we have insurance. The payout is almost guaranteed to be a better deal than recovering the car at this point.

Before air tags, a family member had a car stolen with E-Z Pass in it. They watched it drive down and back up the eastern seaboard. Jurisdiction coordination was the response problem back then. It was eventually recovered, but still declared totaled and original payout was better than recovering the car. Driver of a stolen car treats it worse than even the worst rental car driver.


That’s exactly it. “You take care of tracking it, tell us where it is, and if we need to bump our stats we’ll go recover it.”


Just speculating, but I wonder if the metrics that cops and prosecutors are evaluated on are more weighted towards the number of arrests/convictions and less about crime prevention and recovering stolen property. If they can recover a stolen car but didn’t catch someone in the act of stealing it maybe the lack of arrests makes it not worth their time.

Years ago I saw an interview with David Simon, former police reporter and creator of The Wire. He talked about how the War on Drugs created incentives that completely ruined policing. People were evaluated and promoted based on the number of arrests they made, and it was far easier and quicker to boost your arrest numbers by going out and finding poor drug users and street-level sellers than doing investigations related to things like assault or property crimes. So before long departments became staffed top to bottom with people who didn’t know how to solve a crime, and weren’t being incentivized to do so.


It’s still the largest and best known place we know runs on slave labor.


skeptical i don't know GIF

You got some facts to back that claim up?

I think western visitors who break the law would differ with you on that…

It is a faux-gilt “paradise” for sure, built on enslaved labor and authoritarian oppression.

I think the Saudis might have the UAE beat on that…

Maybe Turkiye, too?

But yes, this is a major problem in these wealthy gulf states, especially as they attempt to diversify their economies, and are dependant on enslaved labor to do that… But we should bear in mind that systems of slavery often depend on legal structures to support it…

We’re not exactly doing great, either…


Excuse Me What GIF by Bounce

Someone in Dubai who can spend $80k on a stolen SUV is not on the weak side of an informal value chain.


Yeah… I don’t think Dubai suffers from a limited financial system…

Every rich asshole on the planet likes to have a place there…


Re watches: BBC3 (I think it was) had a programme just before Christmas interviewing the gangs of youngsters who steal watches. Commonly using teenage girls to scout out targets in nightclubs who would then let their knife and gun toting friends know who to hit. Their complete lack of remorse at the threat and use of violence towards anyone they targeted was utterly shocking. the programme followed up with where these watches were ending up, and they were being taken en masse to Dubai for resale because the UK watch trade is pretty good at identifying stolen watches when they come in for adjustment or servicing.

Thanks for that…

My problem with that is, like much news media, you have to wonder how much it’s sensationalized? You get the same with crime on American TV, especially when it comes to racialized minorities and since a middle eastern country is involved, there is also the whole orientalist angle as well… I don’t know if and how the BBC has the same issues with that as you see on American TV, but I’m not sure how representative this particular story would be the how much of a problem this is?


Dubai is often a middle point for financial transfers and a domicile for trading companies. I don’t know where these cars are destined, but it could be anywhere. And not necessarily the same destination as the funds as a second commodity might be used in the next leg of the transfer. Or, the IVTS has an offset to settle in the destination country and no hard assets are transferred.

Yes, sensationalized or just plain incorrect. And yes IVTS like Hawala or Fei Chien are demonized by Western regimes when their origins and current day use are largely for legitimate purposes. The problem is is that they come to light in the context of money laundering investigations when their legitimate operations are kept private.

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