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Can TILE and Air Tags Help Recover a Stolen vehicle? by Dennis LaGrua
Started on: 11-23-2021 12:29 PM
Replies: 12 (198 views)
Last post by: Quadfather on 11-25-2021 09:19 AM
Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post11-23-2021 12:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A lot of folks put quite a bit of time and money into restoring and customizing their Fiero that you sure don't want to see stolen. In todays times car theft seems like it is on the rise and we have had reports of Fiero theft right here on this forum. You can purchase elaborate tracking devices but most of them require a dedicated cell phone number to operate.
Recently simple key chain car finder Bluetooth devices called Air Tags and Tile that cover both type of cell phones are available. They only have a range of 200' but apparently they have been used to recover stolen cars. Has anyone here used either tracker and what is the confidence level that they can work? I am told that there is a large community of users that can assist in the recovery of a stolen vehicle as can the police. Ideas, opinions, comment, user experiences? Please feel free to reply. I am just short of purchasing a couple.

[This message has been edited by Dennis LaGrua (edited 11-23-2021).]

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infinitewill
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Report this Post11-23-2021 12:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for infinitewillSend a Private Message to infinitewillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My understanding is that an Air tag must be within Bluetooth range of any device on FindMy network. That is to say it doesn't have to be the owners device, simply a device on the Apple FindMy network as it operates encrypted and anonymously in the background. In theory it could help track down a stolen car but it is not a true GPS tracker.
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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post11-23-2021 03:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
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Originally posted by infinitewill:

My understanding is that an Air tag must be within Bluetooth range of any device on FindMy network. That is to say it doesn't have to be the owners device, simply a device on the Apple FindMy network as it operates encrypted and anonymously in the background. In theory it could help track down a stolen car but it is not a true GPS tracker.

Yes those devices are Bluetooth and must be in range of a cellphone. Tile says 400-800 ft. The selling point is that there are over 100,000 users on the Tile and more on the iPhone app so if you put out a call of a stolen car a user will in theory respond and help locate the vehicle There are stories online where cars have been recovered with those small and inexpensive devices. Its certainly not foolproof but still better than no location finder info at all. if further improvements are made and they can are made to communicate with a Hotspot that could be a plus.
For those looking for better theft protection the GPS capable devices are better but you must purchase a cell phone number and pay a monthly charge.
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Boozeman
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Report this Post11-23-2021 04:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BoozemanClick Here to Email BoozemanSend a Private Message to BoozemanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
One thing to keep in mind - the batteries in these devices only last for about a year, so they would likely need to be replaced annually to be reliable.
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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post11-23-2021 05:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
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Originally posted by Boozeman:

One thing to keep in mind - the batteries in these devices only last for about a year, so they would likely need to be replaced annually to be reliable.

Yes sometimes we read reviews where new batteries are needed every six months. With e GPS device they need to be recharged far more times, maybe weekly but some installs use the car battery.
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Report this Post11-23-2021 09:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for QuadfatherClick Here to Email QuadfatherSend a Private Message to QuadfatherEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
In my line of work we use some expensive devices that are taken out into the field every day. Over a couple years’ time one device was lost and two were stolen. We’re talking about $20k per device so I decided to give Tiles a shot about a year ago and so far I’ve been impressed with the system.

The system uses the cell phones of other Tile customers passively, they don’t have to be actively involved in the search. When I was first investigating them I went ahead and bought one and downloaded the app. The app shows you a map that allows you to track the Tile and also shows how many other Tile customers (app users) are nearby. With that first Tile, the map was routinely showing hundreds of Tile customers near in the area in downtown Tulsa.

Since getting Tiles we haven’t lost a device, either through carelessness or theft, and we routinely use the system to track devices when users neglect to sign them out.

My company pays for my yearly subscription which was about $30. It’s supposed to send me an alert when any individual Tile needs a new battery, which should start happening soon.

[This message has been edited by Quadfather (edited 11-23-2021).]

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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post11-23-2021 09:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
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Originally posted by Quadfather:

In my line of work we use some expensive devices that are taken out into the field every day. Over a couple years’ time one device was lost and two were stolen. We’re talking about $20k per device so I decided to give Tiles a shot about a year ago and so far I’ve been impressed with the system.

The system uses the cell phones of other Tile customers passively, they don’t have to be actively involved in the search. Since getting Tiles we haven’t lost a device, either through carelessness or theft, and we routinely use the system to track devices when users neglect to sign them out.

My company pays for my yearly subscription which was about $30. It’s supposed to send me an alert when any individual Tile needs a new battery.


The way I understand it that if you car is stolen with a Tile fob in it, you send out a theft alert on your app. If that Tile is picked up anywhere by a Tile user it alerts the location to the user on his app. It may just alert the tile user in the area but if he sees the alert for a stolen vehicle he can easily notify both the police and yourself. Buying tile and using the app is like joining a community of users. For about $30-$40 its an inexpensive little Bluetooth device to have. Whats your Fiero worth? .
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Report this Post11-23-2021 09:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for QuadfatherClick Here to Email QuadfatherSend a Private Message to QuadfatherEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
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Originally posted by Dennis LaGrua:


The way I understand it that if you car is stolen with a Tile fob in it, you send out a theft alert on your app. If that Tile is picked up anywhere by a Tile user it alerts the location to the user on his app. It may just alert the tile user in the area but if he sees the alert for a stolen vehicle he can easily notify both the police and yourself. Buying tile and using the app is like joining a community of users. For about $30-$40 its an inexpensive little Bluetooth device to have. Whats your Fiero worth? .


I think you’re right about the active search feature, but I was more interested in being able to track our gear myself. And for $30 for the gadget and another $30 for a yearly subscription, we figured it’s ridiculously cheap insurance.
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Report this Post11-24-2021 12:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for infinitewillSend a Private Message to infinitewillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My thought is the cost of the tag is nothing compared to the replacement cost of the vehicle. To me it is worth the investment ($25 ea.) as I am deeply entrenched in the Apple culture. As you said, if the car were taken to someplace remote, this product won't help but the window of recovery is a short one regardless. My '85 GT was stolen from my storage unit years ago and it was weeks before I even knew it had been taken.

Dr. W.
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Report this Post11-24-2021 01:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for skywurzClick Here to visit skywurz's HomePageSend a Private Message to skywurzEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
They have GPS trackers that are easy to install. I roll my own because I don't want my every move sent to a 3rd party.

The problem i see with the tiles are the same issue i had with an early design of my own trackers, the battery. The Tile is rated for 14°F to 140°F.

The other issue is any of these can be jammed. Lowjack, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, GSM, 4G, 5G can all be jammed effectively in a small area rather inexpensively. Then they can move it to a faraday cage. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ im a fairly paranoid person...
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Report this Post11-25-2021 04:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for reinhartClick Here to Email reinhartSend a Private Message to reinhartEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by infinitewill:

My thought is the cost of the tag is nothing compared to the replacement cost of the vehicle. To me it is worth the investment ($25 ea.) as I am deeply entrenched in the Apple culture. As you said, if the car were taken to someplace remote, this product won't help but the window of recovery is a short one regardless. My '85 GT was stolen from my storage unit years ago and it was weeks before I even knew it had been taken.

Dr. W.


Does this work for non-apple users? i.e. Is there an app for android? Also even if the car were taken toa remote location, you'd still have hits along the route until it left civilization so at least you'd have some bread crumbs and could sort of piece together where the car was heading.
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Report this Post11-25-2021 08:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for pmbrunelleClick Here to Email pmbrunelleSend a Private Message to pmbrunelleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I imagine that in some instances, the thief may be unaware enough to allow his own iPhone to act as a relay station for a stolen vehicle's tag.
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Quadfather
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Report this Post11-25-2021 09:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for QuadfatherClick Here to Email QuadfatherSend a Private Message to QuadfatherEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
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Originally posted by reinhart:


Does this work for non-apple users? i.e. Is there an app for android? Also even if the car were taken toa remote location, you'd still have hits along the route until it left civilization so at least you'd have some bread crumbs and could sort of piece together where the car was heading.


Yes, there’s an app for Android, but it’s relatively new and doesn’t have all the capabilities the iOS version does, at least not yet. I happen to be an Android user, but I use my work-issued iPad to manage our Tile system.
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