Just about everybody has a smartphone, and so it’s no surprise that cell phone robberies are skyrocketing.
Police can’t keep up with the amount of reported stolen cell phones—dozens a day in major cities—and are looking for easy ways to help keep cell phones locked.
We’re not talking about normal unlocked cell phones, which break past software to allow multiple carrier use, but preventing tampering with the hardware so it can be resold without hindrances of the past owner.
Currently, criminals can unlock cell phones by replacing the SIM card, which is the only way to currently track smart phones. Cops want to lock cell phones by hardwiring in a “fingerprint” to the cell phone, making the phone itself, and not just the SIM card, trackable to the owner. It would also allow carriers to shut down service to the phone, making reselling it unviable, and hopefully killing the trend of crimes related to smartphones.
Of course, this method requires the sacrifice of all the first people to be robbed. Shutting down the phone would make it impossible for you to unlock the cell phone from your end, (a computer accessing an app on the phone), much less track it, and any crook is likely to ditch the phone anyway once the carrier bricks it.
Better yet, take responsibility to lock cell phones—make sure to check out all the apps dedicated to helping you get your cell phone back: lock the home screen (and wipe away telling finger grease), get GPS tracking that you can access remotely to unlock your cell phone for yourself and block out the thief, and add any other programs that let you control it remotely. Sometimes criminals will sell back to the owner for a reward, which you might be able to post, with a phone number, on your display—with the cell phone locked, of course!