Car stolen from Carlton family after being tracked with an AirTag

A family in Oregon is warning others to be vigilant after their new vehicle was stolen with the help of an AirTag tracking device. (Source: KPTV)
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 9:27 PM PDT
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CARLTON Ore. (KPTV) - Casey Livingston of Carlton is left looking for answers after the car he bought for his son’s 16th birthday was stolen.

It happened not long after the purchase was made, and now he thinks he knows how the thieves pulled it off.

“I’m really ticked, you know?” Livingston said, “We’ve been trying to save and find a safe car for our son.”

Livingston said it was tough to find a car in the current used car market, but he eventually decided on a BMW at a local dealership. “After some back and forth and about a week of negotiations, ended up buying the vehicle and bringing it home.”

Livingston and his wife were on their way home when it was thanks to their phone that they realized something was amiss.

“We got notified that there was an unknown AirTag traveling with us,” Livingston said.

They found the AirTag tracking device buried and hidden in the center console, and he said his wife had a bad feeling.

“That night, we blocked the vehicle in our driveway.”

They didn’t think much of it after a quiet night on their ring doorbell camera, until Wednesday morning. “At 2:00 almost exactly,” Livingston explained, “someone stole the vehicle.”

He said when they bought the car, they were given only one set of keys, “and from the video we have from our neighbors we were able to see they pulled up, unlocked the car, got in it and just drove away.”

That wasn’t the last they saw of the car, a couple of days later Livingston says it was involved in a hit-and-run in Vancouver, where it “rear-ended somebody at an intersection. It wasn’t drivable, so they just fled the scene. It’s totaled. There’s no way that it can be fixed.”

Now he has this to say to the thieves:

“People like that just take advantage of anybody they can at any point they can. It’s a lost cause. People like that just don’t care about what anybody has to say or do.”

The dealership where Livingston got the car says they bought the BMW at an auction, and they do thorough checks of all their vehicles. However, the person who did that inspection didn’t have an iPhone, so they couldn’t have possibly received a notification about the air tag. Like Livingston, the dealership says they’ve been happy to do anything they can to help police with their investigation.

Livingston is grateful to have gotten insurance on the vehicle in the nick of time, so he’s optimistic he won’t be out too much money.

He says if anything is to come out of this it’s that if you buy a car and it’s got an air tag in it -- listen to your gut and get in touch with the police.