Monday, April 28, 2014

LOCK BLOCKERS: City Takes Aim At Stolen Phone Enablers

The City Council's Public Safety Committee approved an ordinance that would require anyone who unlocks cell phones for a fee in the city to send transaction information to the police department by noon daily.

According to the Sun-Times, information to be sent to the police includes a copy of customers' IDs and the unlocked phones' serial numbers.
“I’ve interviewed hundreds of mobile phone theft robbers [sic] and thieves and, across the board, they tell us, 'I can make more money stealing phones than I can selling dope on the street corner,'" [Chicago Police Sergeant Edward] Wodnicki said.
40th ward Alderman Pat O'Connor used the city's pawn shop regulation as a model for the cell phone law:
“Pawn shops are required to, on a daily basis, notify the Chicago Police Department of those things they take in. They describe the item. They have identification of the person who brought it in. It goes to the Police Department, so they can do a comparative to those things reported as stolen,” he said.
“In this instance, you have identification of the individual who brings in the phone and a….cellular V.I.N. number...It allows the Police Department to have one more tool to find people who are dealing in stolen goods. It will make it harder for folks who are stealing phones in the Chicago area to actually get their $200 quickly because they won’t be able to utilize the smaller stores…to do this [unlocking] transaction. If local municipalities around us follow suit, we can help make it even more difficult.”
Violation of the law carries a fine of $500 to $1,000 per offense.
Image: Extreme Tech
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18 comments:

  1. Some of these "mom and pop" small stores will probably ignore this law. They are the same places who purchase residents LINK cards for .50 cents on the dollar.

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    1. When I inquired as to why these stores weren't being targeted, another on here said "Because it's completely legal, that's why".

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  2. How much do the phone thieves make when they sell them?

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    1. Enough to make it worthwhile.

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  3. It's about frickin' time at least some attempt was made!!

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  4. Not only do stores unlock phones, but people do aswell. Wont make a difference.

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  5. Why unlock a phone at all is my question? There should be a kill switch built into the phones. We pay a lot for these phones.

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  6. So they'll take the cardboard signs down frim their wundows. The thiefs will still know where to go. Do you really think this will be enforced? They cant even get people to shovel their sidewalks here.

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    1. Make the fine worthwhile enough to send a "secret shopper" in. Like they do for liquor stores that sell to underage.

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  7. About damn time!

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  8. one more "ordinance" that will not be enforced in order to protect the catered-to constituency's ability to earn. it will remain a bad idea to walk, head down, blabbing away or tweeting whatever the fuck, cuz your head is still a target for bashing, your apple for picking. shut up and pay attention, save yourself a trip to the ER and stay safe.

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    1. I can wear my earbuds low enough to make the bums think I'm oblivious to theur constant solicitations yet can hear EVERYTHING else going on around me.

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  9. Most of the city ordinance tickets go unpaid. These are tickets for; "drinking on public way", "sleeping in park after dark", "panhandling", "public intoxication", ect.....

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  10. The big cell phone carriers should immediately shut off service to phones reported stolen, that would instantly prevent this major crime. But of course why should big cell phone carriers do this? When phones get stolen, they make money too. They sell the victim a new phone. The person buying the stolen phone will buy service too.

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  11. is this law effective immediately???

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    1. The legislation that we saw would start 10 days after passage. We will check to see if the same stipulation is in the final version, which passed.

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