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Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
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Tuthmosis Offline
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Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
I don't know if you guys have read about this, but I've now heard it mentioned in a few different settings. It's worth thinking about as you guys work your way through urban settings in the states, with these mini computers that have a lot of valuable information (like phone numbers and texts) un-backed-up.

Full story.

Quote:Cellphone thefts rise rapidly
Stealth, force and sometimes guns part of a ubiquitous crime wave striking coast to coast
By TERRY COLLINS

SAN FRANCISCO — In this tech-savvy city teeming with commuters and tourists, the cellphone has become a top target of robbers who use stealth, force and sometimes guns.

Nearly half of all robberies in San Francisco this year are cellphone-related, police say, and most occur on bustling transit lines.

One thief recently snatched a smartphone while sitting right behind his unsuspecting victim and darted out the rear of a bus in mere seconds.
Another robber grabbed an iPhone from an oblivious bus rider — while she was still talking.

And, in nearby Oakland, City Council candidate Dan Kalb was robbed at gunpoint of his iPhone Wednesday after he attended a neighborhood anti-crime meeting.

"I thought he was going to shoot me," recalled Kalb, who had dropped his phone during the stickup. "He kept saying, 'Find the phone! Find the phone!'"

These brazen incidents are part of a ubiquitous crime wave striking coast to coast. New York City Police report that more than 40 percent of all robberies now involve cellphones. And cellphone thefts in Los Angeles, which account for more than a quarter of all the city's robberies, are up 27 percent from this time a year ago, police said.

"This is your modern-day purse snatching," said longtime San Francisco Police Capt. Joe Garrity, who began noticing the trend here about two years ago. "A lot of younger folks seem to put their entire lives on these things that don't come cheap."

Thefts of cellphones— particularly the expensive do-it-all smartphones containing everything from photos and music to private e-mails and bank account statements— are costing consumers millions of dollars and sending law enforcement agencies and wireless carriers nationwide scrambling for solutions.

In San Francisco, police have gone undercover and launched a transit ad campaign, warning folks to "be smart with your smartphone." Similar warnings went out in Oakland, where there have been nearly 1,300 cellphone robberies this year.

When Apple's ballyhooed iPhone 5 went on sale last month, New York City police encouraged buyers to register their phone's serial numbers with the department. That came just months after a 26-year-old chef at the Museum of Modern Art was killed for his iPhone while heading home to the Bronx.

In St. Louis, city leaders proposed an ambitious ordinance requiring anyone who resells cellphones to obtain a secondhand dealers license. Resellers also would need to record the phone's identity number and collect detailed information including the seller's names, addresses, a copy of their driver's licenses — even their thumbprints.

"It will take a national solution to make this problem go away," St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said of the phone thefts.

Though some experts put annual cellphone losses in the billions of dollars, there is no precise figure on how many devices are stolen each year.
However, the problem has become so visible that it has caught the attention of lawmakers and regulators seeking to take the profit out of cellphone theft.

....

Chris Guttman-McCabe, CTIA's vice president of regulatory affairs, said the goal of creating theft databases is to render stolen cellphones worthless.

"We want to dry up the aftermarket,"
Guttman-McCabe said. "Hopefully, there will be no sense in stealing a phone and a once valuable piece of hardware will essentially turn into useless metal."

(continues.)

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10-20-2012 10:25 PM
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Cincinnatus Offline
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
When I'm walking through a dangerous neighborhood I always take the battery out of my cell phone and keep it in a separate pocket. I don't have a particularly valuable phone, but if someone wants to get at my personal data, they'll have to work a bit harder for it.

I do the same thing with my wallet. I take my I.D. out and most of my cash, stick them in an inside pocket, then keep a few dollars in the wallet itself and put it in my back pocket again.

(02-16-2014 01:05 PM)jariel Wrote:  Since chicks have decided they have the right to throw their pussies around like Joe Montana, I have the right to be Jerry Rice.
10-20-2012 11:22 PM
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porscheguy Offline
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
Thieves don't care about identity info on cell phones. They want the hardware. Have a look at what an iPhone goes for on ebay. $200-$300 a pop. That's easy money and low risk. How many of these thieves are actually caught?

The problem could easily be solved if the manufacturers and carriers actually had any interest in solving it. But they don't because the theft victim will buy a new phone, and the person receiving the new phone is a potential new subscriber for service.
10-21-2012 01:47 AM
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AlbertoDelMuerto Offline
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
Well I got mugged in downtown LA, a couple of years ago, 3 black junkies with knives came out of nowhere, and said something like "ssup dawg! Show me your phone and your wallet! ", I had to do that cuz they had knives.
10-21-2012 01:59 AM
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Teddykgb Offline
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
When I was down in Guate City a girl from couchsurfing brother had his cellphone stolen by some muggers on street bikes. I had also talk to some other csers and they have had there cell phones stolen.

They were straight up targeting the cellphones and didnt reall ycare about much else.
10-21-2012 02:20 AM
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Tex Pro Offline
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
(10-21-2012 01:47 AM)porscheguy Wrote:  Thieves don't care about identity info on cell phones. They want the hardware. Have a look at what an iPhone goes for on ebay. $200-$300 a pop. That's easy money and low risk. How many of these thieves are actually caught?

The problem could easily be solved if the manufacturers and carriers actually had any interest in solving it. But they don't because the theft victim will buy a new phone, and the person receiving the new phone is a potential new subscriber for service.

This.

Plus, it is easy to grab someone's phone when they have headphones on and have their nose buried in their phone surfing the web.

This is becoming the modern day "purse snatching" as was mentioned in the article.
10-21-2012 04:49 AM
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j r Offline
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
Anything can happen, but this sort of thing is fairly easy to avoid. Most of these thieves are punk kids looking for an easy mark. Just don't be the easy mark. Walk with confidence and have your head on a swivel. These guys are looking for the people who are oblivious to their surroundings.
10-21-2012 07:08 AM
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Dr. Howard Away
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
I had no idea, I'm more worried about my personal info than my budget android phone though. I wonder what would happen in a mugging vs. driveby snatching if you produced your phone, spiked it, stomped on it or otherwise smashed it and then turned it over. My assumption is that you would end up stabbed or shot, just because they would be pissed.

Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing? Psalm 2:1 KJV
10-21-2012 09:39 AM
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bacon Offline
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
my advice buy lifelock. idenity theft is easy today and the cell phone angle is just another element to it. its a little more than 200 a year but the peace of mind that comes with it is great. i had a friend who had his identity stolen cost him over 10k in legal fees to get things straightened out. when i pay for it i just think of it as insurance; its the cost i pay for living in a digital age where personal information can be hacked or stolen with increasing ease.

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(This post was last modified: 10-21-2012 10:36 AM by bacon.)
10-21-2012 10:34 AM
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Dr. Howard Away
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
You're serious about lifelock? I've always been skeptical on it due to it being advertised every half hour on every conservative talk radio show.

(10-21-2012 10:34 AM)bacon Wrote:  my advice buy lifelock. idenity theft is easy today and the cell phone angle is just another element to it. its a little more than 200 a year but the peace of mind that comes with it is great. i had a friend who had his identity stolen cost him over 10k in legal fees to get things straightened out. when i pay for it i just think of it as insurance; its the cost i pay for living in a digital age where personal information can be hacked or stolen with increasing ease.

Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing? Psalm 2:1 KJV
10-21-2012 11:45 AM
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NYJ Offline
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
Reason why I have a numeric password with at least 7 numbers for you to be able to get into my phone. Even if it's stolen you can't get into it.

Reppin the Jersey Shore.
(This post was last modified: 10-21-2012 11:50 AM by NYJ.)
10-21-2012 11:48 AM
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
(10-21-2012 11:48 AM)NYJ Wrote:  Reason why I have a numeric password with at least 7 numbers for you to be able to get into my phone. Even if it's stolen you can't get into it.

That can easily be circumvented by the "right" vendors.
10-21-2012 12:20 PM
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bacon Offline
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
(10-21-2012 11:45 AM)wiscanada Wrote:  You're serious about lifelock? I've always been skeptical on it due to it being advertised every half hour on every conservative talk radio show.

(10-21-2012 10:34 AM)bacon Wrote:  my advice buy lifelock. idenity theft is easy today and the cell phone angle is just another element to it. its a little more than 200 a year but the peace of mind that comes with it is great. i had a friend who had his identity stolen cost him over 10k in legal fees to get things straightened out. when i pay for it i just think of it as insurance; its the cost i pay for living in a digital age where personal information can be hacked or stolen with increasing ease.

after watching my friends ordeal with identity theft its worth it
10-21-2012 12:27 PM
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speakeasy Offline
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
There are apps that will wipe the phones data clean if stolen. You would send the command from the website and it will activate the app on your device and clean it out. Another dude I know got his phone stolen and he had a tracking app that activated the gps and told him the exact location of the phone. He showed up there with the cops and the thief got arrested.

I only carry a small budget android, an LG Optimus T. Does everything I need it to do and I can't imagine who would want to steal it.
10-21-2012 01:08 PM
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
(10-21-2012 12:20 PM)Vicious Wrote:  
(10-21-2012 11:48 AM)NYJ Wrote:  Reason why I have a numeric password with at least 7 numbers for you to be able to get into my phone. Even if it's stolen you can't get into it.

That can easily be circumvented by the "right" vendors.

True, but the average idiot off the street who steals phones cause they have nothing else going for them isn't going to be smart enough to do that. A more savy thief, sure.

Reppin the Jersey Shore.
10-21-2012 01:11 PM
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Kaywhole Offline
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
Really sorry to hear about that, Alberto. Glad you're alright.
10-22-2012 02:02 PM
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presidentcarter Offline
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
Had my 4S stolen three weeks after I got it. Could have been worse though, as the guy jumped in my car and was acting all cracked out. By the time I got him out of the car, I realized he'd snatched the phone from the center change holder.

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10-22-2012 02:13 PM
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azulsombra Offline
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
Only time i ever got jacked while traveling was in bogota circa 2008. I was in an area with a lot of street traffic and got pickpocketed for my cellphone. I didnt even feel a hand reach in my pocket, i realized it about a half-hour later. A smooth criminal indeed.

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10-22-2012 04:58 PM
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chyamor Offline
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
What can someone possibly put on their phone that would lead to identity theft? Only thing I have on my phone are a few pics of places ive been for phone game, contacts with alias names that I sync with outlook. For text I use mighttext which integrades with browser. I could easily throw my phone in a lake and not even think twice about what was on it.
10-22-2012 05:11 PM
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fresh Offline
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RE: Cell Phone Theft Epidemic in U.S. Cities
... Another thing, a input, is that even though you activate the app, find my iphone / track it, Iphone app.
If the theif, puts the phone in a computer and reseting the phone, It will remove the tracking engine, so you wont be able to find.

Since the begining of 2011, have I lost four phones, 2 x Iphone 4, 2 x Iphone 4S, Insurence could not help me. - I wasnt jacked just drunk, since Im getting too olde to getting jacked by punks, just too drunk...

A little trick I tend to, specially when I am traveling, is devide my cash in pockets, one is the good, phone, hotel card, big notes. The secound ( my left) contains coins and small notes. Im always just bringing out the hole pocket, in a kinda stupid way, like jack all my stuff, look on. Give the the coins, the ask for the note, If I give the note, then everybody is happy! (1 dollar happyness).
11-14-2012 08:51 AM
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