Police Want Legislation To Recover Stolen Cell Phones


Telecommunication companies can disable stolen phones, the CRTC needs to bring in regulation

VANCOUVER – If your cell phone is stolen, start thinking about buying a new one because you are not getting it back. But there is a way to stop this. Police are pushing for legislation to recover your prized possession.

You might say, it’s just a cell phone.  But police insist it is more than just the material loss because theft often comes with violence, reported 1130 News.

In 2011, there were nearly 200 cell phone robberies in Vancouver and in every case some form of violence was used. This year numbers are slightly lower, but not much.

Constable Lindsey Houghton explains they want laws making reactivation of a stolen cell phone illegal through its International Mobile Equipment Identity number. The IMEI is unique to each device.

“By disabling the ability to reactivate the stolen cellphone, it becomes virtually useless in the hands of a thief,” explains Houghton.

Houghton says its not about technology, “Telecommunication companies and service providers already have the technical ability to do this. The CRTC just needs to bring in regulation.

And Vancouver Police are not alone in wanting to change this.  There are motions across the country to have laws brought in.

In the meantime, police are asking the public to record IMEI numbers so that if something does happen to the phone you can report it.

Right now if a phone is stolen the SIM card can be removed, a new one put in and the phone reactivated.  If the IMEI number was disabled,  this could not happen.