New York Takes Another Step to Curb Phone Theft

Posted by at 8:49 am on October 18, 2013

New York State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein plans to introduce a bill today that would require businesses to obtain proof of ownership before buying used cell phones.

According to the New York Times, flea markets, laundromats, and neighborhood stores often resell mobile devices that have been stolen. The law would make it illegal for any businesses in the state to sell devices unless they can prove they were legally obtained from the original owner through documented receipts. “The goal of this legislation is to scare black market retailers out of this terrible business,” said Klein. “If you’re a retailer making a few extra bucks by selling stolen phones, you’re now going to think twice before you open up your wallet and pay one of these criminals.” Klein’s law does not apply to individuals. Phone theft has increased in recent years despite lawmakers’ attempts to halt it.

U.S. carriers created a database of stolen phone IDs that should prevent the devices from being usable on mobile networks, but law enforcement says the database has proven ineffective.

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