WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Measures Targeting Black Market Make Your Smart Phone Safer

Play associated audio
Recent police officers have gone into pursuing and shutting down operations that fence stolen smart phones.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/witer/4908036684/
Recent police officers have gone into pursuing and shutting down operations that fence stolen smart phones.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says the department's campaign to tackle cell phone thefts is paying off, with robberies down 8 percent.

Police say nearly 40 percent of robberies involve stolen smart phones, and after last year's huge increase in robberies, police have focused on shutting down the lucrative black market for the mobile devices.

From convincing cell phone companies to let customers remotely shut down or brick a stolen cell phone, to organizing a national database that tracks phones, Chief Lanier has helped lead a national lobbying campaign to curtail thefts of the omnipresent gadgets.

The latest effort: targeting the stores, kiosks and illegal fencing operations that pay cash for used cell phones. Lanier says a recent investigation found hundreds that were likely stolen from D.C. residents.

"It's working, but it seems every time like we come up with another solution, there's another hole in the dam," Lanier says. "We have to keep plugging the holes and dam as we go along. I think all of the things we're doing is helping, but there is still some things that have be done."

One of those holes , Lanier says, is the international black market. Lanier says there are still loopholes that need to be addressed by cell phone manufacturers.

NPR

Pack These Pages: Three Must-Reads For Summer

Harriet Logan, owner of Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights, Ohio, recommends a graphic novel about trash, a George Eliot classic and a children's book about a bear pianist.
NPR

Why Does Every New Restaurant Look Like A Factory?

The stripped-down look of exposed brick, poured cement floors, and Edison light bulbs is popular in restaurants across America. One reporter dares to ask, "Seriously, why?"
NPR

Obama: Globalization Is 'Here' And 'Done'

Warning against withdrawing from trade deals, the president acknowledged a legitimate gripe with globalization, but says focusing only on local markets is the wrong medicine.
NPR

Facebook Shakes Up News Feed, But We Still Don't Know Exactly How It Works

It will now prioritize posts from friends and family — potentially bad news for media companies relying on Facebook for traffic. The company has been under pressure to defend its political neutrality.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.