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Stolen cell phone incidences increasing worldwide


Reports show that the number of cell phone thefts continues to increase rapidly. In Washington D.C., approximately 40 percent of 500 robberies in 2012 were of cell phones or tablets, according to The Washington Post, and now the police departments are asking for help.

Police chiefs across the country are publicly asking cell phone companies to insert software that will allow stolen smartphones to be shut down remotely through identification numbers within the device. They believe that this would decrease the vast number of thefts, as they will not be as valuable if they cannot be resold.

However, some organizations do not see any benefit from the program.

“Cellphones are small and very valuable and easy to ship out of one country and resell in another that doesn’t have access to a database held by law enforcement or care to access the database,” Michael Altschul, general consul of CTIA, a national wireless trade group, told the news source. “So the effectiveness of such programs is limited.”

Cell phone tracking software can be beneficial in some instances, but the incidences are still sky rocketing, leaving the police departments desperate.

“I hear 15 stories or so every morning in my crime briefings,” D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told the media outlet. “We are being clobbered with these robberies, and they’re looking for the same thing. They say, ‘Give me your purse. Now where is your phone?'”

People who are stealing cell phones sometimes do so shamelessly. According to The Mirror, commuter Matt Parker was on a train in London when he witnessed a man steal a white iPhone from a bag, which had been left on the train. Parker immediately started ordering the young man to return it. When he did not, Parker’s anger increased and he also had the foresight to record his conversation.

“So I began initially tell him to put the phone back before escalating to a full yelling-at, during which I had the presence of mind to turn my phone on and video the whole thing,” Parker told the news source. “I even asked him first if he minded me photographing him stealing the phone and he was so brazened, he held it up to pose with it.”

Local detective thanked Parker for his quick thinking in recording the video. Authorities have yet to track down the man, but it is clear that this problem is escalating across the globe.