Wireless providers to disable stolen phones

Wireless providers to disable stolen phones

Credit: Getty Images

HANOVER, GERMANY - MARCH 06: A visitor examines a Samsung Galaxy Xcover smartphone on the first day of the CeBIT 2012 technology trade fair on March 6, 2012 in Hanover, Germany. CeBIT 2012, the world's largest information technology trade fair, will run from March 6-10, and advances in cloud computing and security are major features this year. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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by KMOV Web Producer

KMOV.com

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 4:09 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Wireless carriers will be able to quickly disable a cellphone after it's reported stolen, under a plan announced Tuesday by federal and local officials.

The anti-crime strategy relies on a database that will allow wireless providers to disable a cellphone after a user reports it stolen.

The plan was unveiled by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, Sen. Charles Schumer and police chiefs from New York, Philadelphia and the District of Columbia.

The announcement comes as police in major cities grapple with increases in the theft of mobile phones, which are quickly resold in fencing operations.

Officials hope the database of uniquely identifiable mobile phone numbers will be up and running in six months. It'll allow wireless carriers to block a stolen device from being used again.

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