New York City looks to curb smartphone theft with electronic records system


New York City has a problem with smartphone theft. In 2012, there were 16,000 thefts involving Apple mobile devices and that number is continuing to rise in 2013. Currently,  45 percent of robberies involve a cell phone and more than half of those involve an iPhone. To deal with this growing problem of mobile phone theft, the New York City Council is proposing a new measure that’ll help track the movement of stolen devices.

According to the New York Daily News, the City Council wants to require pawn shops and other second hand dealers to track purchased devices using an electronic records system. These brokers would record serial numbers and take photographs of the devices they accept. Currently, these inventories are kept using pen and paper and other non-electronic means. A new electronic records system would make it easier for law enforcement to identify and track stolen devices. It would also deter thieves from pawning their stolen phones for quick cash.

Apple has already take a step towards locking down their devices in an attempt to deter theft. The company introduced a new activation lock feature that requires an iCloud password when someone tries to access a stolen device. Despite this measure, iPhones that don’t have iCloud enabled are still accessible and vulnerable to theft. Have you had your iOS device stolen? Were you able to recover it?

[Via Macrumors]