Ina Fried

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N.Y., S.F. Officials to Meet With Apple, Samsung and Others Over Rising Smartphone Theft


Shutterstock / Innershadows Photography

With smartphone crime on the rise, officials in San Francisco and New York have called meetings with the top device makers to see what could be done.

The San Francisco District Attorney and New York Attorney General are holding a “smartphone summit” next week to meet with four of the largest players in an effort to address the trend of “Apple picking” (and presumably Samsung swiping and Motorola mugging).

“With 1.6 million Americans falling victim to smartphone theft in 2012, this has become a national epidemic,” San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “Unlike other types of crimes, smartphone theft can be eradicated with a simple technological solution.”

Phone makers and carriers have already committed to creating a database to help track stolen phones.

However, at the June 13 meeting to be held in New York, the elected officials will press Google, Microsoft, Apple and Samsung to create a simple way for stolen phones to be rendered permanently inoperable, reducing the incentive to steal the devices.

“The theft of handheld devices is the fastest-growing street crime, and increasingly, incidents are turning violent,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “It’s time for manufacturers to be as innovative in solving this problem as they have been in designing devices that have reshaped how we live.”

Image: Shutterstock / Innershadows Photography

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