Cellphone providers take steps to curb thefts

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

ST. LOUIS -- Law enforcers hope a voluntary agreement by major cellphone providers to start preventing stolen devices from being reactivated in their networks now will discourage such thefts and robberies.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported some police chiefs believe the move won't have an immediate impact, figuring that it'll take time for would-be criminals to learn that pilfered cellphones won't have resale value.

Cellphone service providers until recently could take stolen phones offline remotely, though that didn't stop them from being reactivated with a different account. That produced a black market in stolen phones.

Smartphone makers by Dec. 1 will begin including information inside packaging about how to lock such devices, and next spring carriers will have to educate consumers about how to remotely lock or erase data from the phones.

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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