Sen. Schumer To Cell Phone Carriers: Deactivating Phones Can Help Deter Thefts

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — New York Sen. Charles Schumer is asking major cell phone carriers to help put an end to cell phone thefts by deactivating the phones themselves if reported lost or stolen.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Julie Walter reports

Schumer says New York City is ranked second behind Miami with the greatest amount of cell phone theft.

“Forty-one percent of all thefts in New York involve a cell phone, meaning the cell phone is stolen alone or the cell phone is stolen with other goods,” said Schumer. “They’re valuable, they’re small, they’re easily stolen and there is a big black market readily available so they can be cashed in for hundreds of dollars.”

That’s why he’s asking cell phone carriers to use current technology to deactive the device instead of just their data storage or SIM cards.

“This technology won’t require new devices, won’t require new expenses, consumers won’t have to do a thing, the devices already have the identifiers in them,” said Schumer.

Schumer says Verizon is the only phone carrier that actually turns off a stolen phone. He has written letters to AT&T, T-Mobile and Nextel asking they do the same.

What do you think about this idea? Sound off below in our comments section…

  • Luisa

    This is a true no-brainer- amazing that this isn’t best practices. I just had my cell stolen from the Marshall’s on 86th St & New Utrecht- Brooklyn and couldn’t believe it when I called AT&T to report it and was told they had no way of de-activitating the phone or tracing it should it be activitated by someone other than me; all they could do was de-activate the SIM card. WHat good is all this technology, if it isn’t being used appropriately- shame on you AT&T, T-Mobile and Nextel .

  • Average Working Joe

    U.S. taxpayers give Billion$ and Billion$ to Israel….more than any other country….while unemployment and homeless are at record high.

  • IgnoranteElephante

    I am a big supporter of Israel for this very reason. One day when the Israel is safe with secure borders, Chuck and people of his ilk will all flock back to the Holy Land. What a happy day it will be.

  • sunshine band

    Correct me if I’m wrong but Verizon phones only work on Verizon network. Does he mean Verizon won’t activate a phone that is reported stolen or lost? If you get a non-verizon phone, it could probably be used in another country. How is he going to stop that? I agree this guy is a turd who loves to be on TV creating stupid laws and really doing nothing.

  • someone

    Great idea!!! Next, lets tell all fat people to “just lose weight” and short people to “just get taller”. OMG, I have an idea about how we can end poverty, lets just tell all poor people to … are you ready for this? Just tell them to “get rich”. Problem solved the schumer way.

    If he did any research he would know that at&t and t-mobile use gsm technology while verizon uses CDMA. With CDMA technology everything is server side and can easily be controlled from the central server.

    With GSM, a sim card is used and can be replaced very easily. A lot of people prefer them to CDMA because gsm is the technology used in europe and asia, so anyone going on a trip can simply replace sim cards and still use the phone in that country. With GSM there is very little that can be done about the phone itself since the interaction is done through the sim card. Even Japan’s phones have been unlocked and used in america and they pretty much have some of the biggest restrictions on who can obtain their phones to keep them in the country.

  • Dave

    I gotta see this balding mug every sunday evening on the news….I think the cell phone companies already shut your cell phone off if u call them up and tell them your cell phone is lost and stolen…what a jerkoff…

    this is why 1.6 million people have fled the state, myself hopefully to be added to that total as soon as i can….

  • Fred

    This guy has never come up with an idea of any substance. He is Mr. Reactionary and Mr. Photo Opt. What exactly has he ever done for his constituents? Our economy is in the toilet, high unemployment, people who have jobs are working for less than they were four or five years ago,……. and ideas Chuck? Wall Street is still allowed to operate unchecked and manipulate the cost of oil and other commodities. How about looking there for a photo opt Chuck instead of worrying about stolen cell phones!

  • Lancelot

    Schumer’s tireless efforts to constantly place himself in front of a camera are impressive. It’s pity nothing of value or relevance comes put of his whiny, annoying (and rather large) mouth.

  • Dave

    how is it that in NY state Obama has a 49% approval rating in NY state yet this tool schumer who has accomplished nothing since th eday he took office except get his face on TV every sunday afternoon…has an apoproval rating over 60% yet this blowhard votes “yea” to every issue that is supported by obama..i just dont get it…..

    last i checked there is no extra lane on route 17 in orange county, still no jobs in the finger lakes, western NY state region…we still give more $$$ to washington then we get back…

    you mean to tell me we cant find someone better then this clown and his little cousin gillibrand

    at least d’amato got us $$$$ from washington…

    • joey from B'hurst

      He is pro-Israel, and won’t cut welfare benefits. This is his meal ticket. Did you know chuck never had a real job.

    • Garth

      I really fail to see what Obama has to do with this particular article. Did you actually read it, or are you just skimming headlines in the hope that one of your posts will actually have relevance to the article ???

  • Len

    Great idea !

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