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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Smartphone Theft Jumped 94 Percent in One Year, Consumer Reports Says

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 3:32 PM

click to enlarge The next potential target.
  • The next potential target.

After two years of hammering statistics, badgering telecom companies, and decrying the rise of smartphone theft in San Francisco, District Attorney George Gascon says he's been vindicated.

According to a Consumer Reports projection issued today, smartphone theft skyrocketed nationally, from 1.6 million robberies in 2012 to 3.1 million in 2013. That's a flabbergasting 94 percent uptick.

The news follows yesterday's press release battle between anti-theft crusaders and the CTIA, a trade group representing telecom companies. The CTIA opposes new legislation being enacted in four states to require all smartphone manufacturers to equip their products with anti-theft "kill-switches."

Phone companies argue that such security devices should be optional, rather than baked into every phone.

DA Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who both have kill-switch bills in the works, hailed today's consumer report news as corroborative evidence for their crusade.

"Today's report showing smartphone theft nearly doubling over the course of just one year is the latest reminder of the urgent need for the wireless industry to take action now and end this global epidemic," they wrote in a joint press statement.

Gascon and Schneiderman also warned that, even though smartphone theft is a crime of opportunity, many of these robberies end in violence -- even death.

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About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan has been a staff writer at SF Weekly since 2013. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.


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