Amarillo, TX - Local law enforcement says a new change made by the wireless industry will help drive theft down in our area.
A new database is in the works to help make stolen electronic devices useless to thieves.
The nation's top wireless carriers announced they will now start working on establishing a database to prevent the reactivation of stolen electronics; including cell phones, smart phones and tablet computers.
This comes as good news for consumers, but not so good for thieves.
"If I had to go replace it, it would be $600. That's if I'm getting it cheap, if I'm getting it on sale," says Rocky Rashmithakrar, owner of Cellfone Revolution.
That's how much Rocky Rashmithakrar would have to pay for a new iPhone if he had his stolen.
He's not only a consumer but he sells smart phones for a living.
"I see it all the time, whether it's somebody coming into replace the phone that's been stolen or in some cases I actually see stolen phones come in my directions," says Rocky Rashmithakrar, owner of Cellfone Revolution.
Local resale stores say this new database will help them as well because around one-in-five people that walk in here are trying to sell a stolen phone.
This change means wireless carriers will now give each electronic device a unique identification code, which will be registered into a national database.
"Any time you report your phone stolen, that national database can remotely deactivate your phone completely, sim card and all, to ensure that your phone cannot be reactivated after its been stolen," says Andrew Brandt, technician, Catmandu.
This new database will help turn highly prized stolen items into worthless pieces of plastic.
"This is really going to drop down the value of a stolen cell phone to a thief or to a black market reseller," says Andrew Brandt, technician, Catmandu.
Now consumers can rest easier knowing everything on their electronic device is deleted.
"This not only protects your personal information, your contacts and your emails that you may have stored in your phone. If you use an iPhone, you have your iTunes account on there, which includes your credit card information. This makes sure that all your personal information is kept locked down," says Andrew Brandt, technician, Catmandu.
"I hope they do more with it and hopefully it doesn't go away," says Rocky Rashmithakrar, owner of Cellfone Revolution.