Democratic D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Wednesday that she has started a pilot program that will give some drivers a tracking device to attach to their cars so they will be able to find their vehicle if it gets stolen.
The tags, which will be given to residents in six of the city’s most vehicle theft-prone areas, will be installed inside the car and will be trackable via an app on the owner’s phone, the mayor’s office said in a press release. The devices appear to be Apple AirTags, according to a photo posted by Bowser on social media.
Auto thefts in D.C. have increased 101% since last year, with 5,916 cars being stolen since January, police data showed. Violent crime in the city has increased 41%, while total crime has grown by 27% since last year.
Local officials claimed that the apps would help citizens recover their stolen cars more quickly and would allow officers to solve crimes more quickly or efficiently. (RELATED: Crime Wave Cripples Once-Trendy Blue City Neighborhood)
“Our goal is not just to prevent carjackings and motor vehicle thefts, but also to ensure swift law enforcement action when these incidents occur,” acting Chief of Police Pamela A. Smith said in the press release. “These tracking devices allow our officers and detectives to be better positioned to quickly locate stolen vehicles, recover property, and gather vital evidence for investigations.”
Today, we announced a pilot program to provide DC residents with free digital tracking tags for their vehicles.
We’ll continue to use all the tools we have, and add new tools, to keep our city safe. pic.twitter.com/moFcg4Cav4
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) November 1, 2023
Bowser has attempted to walk back the city’s lenient approach toward crime in the past few months, unveiling a crime bill that eliminates several police reforms D.C. enacted after the George Floyd riots in 2020. D.C. first responders have said that they feel less safe because of the rising crime in the area, while many locals throughout the city complained at a House Judiciary meeting about the open crime that often takes place in broad daylight.
“Last week, we introduced legislation to address recent crime trends; this week, we are equipping residents with technology that will allow the Metropolitan Police Department to address these crimes, recover vehicles, and hold people accountable,” Bowser said in the press release. “[W]e will continue to use all the tools we have, and add new tools, to keep our city safe.”
The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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