Clamping down on stolen cell phones

The San Francisco District Attorney has had enough of cell phone theft and is readying himself to sit down with Apple to push for a technology-based solution to the growing issue. The meeting comes after a February conference call with lobbyists and wireless carriers that left him frustrated.

“They refused to even entertain the idea of a technological solution to this,” George Gascon was quoted as saying. “I told them in no uncertain terms that I believed they were motivated by profit and not social responsibility.”

Other law enforcement officials – including Washington, D.C. police Chief Cathy Lanier – are calling for action, demanding federal regulations be put in place to force carriers to participate in database systems to protect consumers and that phone resellers be eliminated.

A central database being compiled by the six major cellular carriers is expected to be rolled out this fall, allowing consumers to report stolen phones to prevent their reactivation.

The hope is once criminals know stolen phones have no resale value, the rate of theft will drop.