Cell phone theft is the fastest growing crime in New York, according to police.
State Senator Charles Schumer and New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly want to make a stolen cell phone as “worthless as an empty wallet.”
Schumer and Kelly announced today a major agreement between cell phone carriers and FCC to permanently disable stolen smartphones so they cannot be resold on the black market.
Currently, when cell phones are stolen, they are easily resold because of SIM card technology.
Schumer will also announce legislation making it a federal crime to alter a cell phone’s unique identification number (IMEI) in order to activate a stolen phone.
Police say 42% of property crimes last year involved a cell phone.