Press-Republican

Local News

August 22, 2011

Schumer: Deactivating cellphones can deter theft

ALBANY — New York Sen. Charles Schumer says cellphone carriers can effectively put an end to a spike in phone thefts by deactivating the phones themselves instead of their data storage or SIM cards.

Schumer says cellphones have unique identity numbers assigned, and that the technology is already effectively used in Europe to deter stealing.

He notes that 41 percent of all property crimes in New York City in the first half of this year were related to cellphones, with devices like the iPhone and Android phones easily resold on the black market.

In letters, he is asking AT&T, T-Mobile and Nextel to follow Verizon's approach in the U.S. and turn off stolen phones.

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