Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Syracuse Police want to help you hold onto your cell phone. They’ve fast become a hot target for thieves.
Thieves have not only been entering people’s homes and offices to steal cell phones, but they’re also targeting people on the street and they’re becoming increasingly violent. Just last week a man was assaulted in Armory Square when police say two teenagers hit him with their bicycles and took off with his phone.
Police say the stolen phones are being wiped of their information and sold on the black market for around $100. Thieves will also take them to local cell phone stores, where they can be reset and used by someone new without a trace of evidence.
“We’re working with some of the cell phone companies to make sure that when someone brings one of these phones in that they’re actually dealing with the owner of that phone,” explained Syracuse Police Sgt. Tom Connellan.
Police say certain password protection measures and GPS locators have helped them track some of the stolen phones.
“If someone’s threatening you with force, we say give them the phone, but if you have all those protections on there, they won’t be able to use it,” Sgt. Connellan said.
There are things you can do with your phone to help police identify it if it’s stolen. Police say taking the following precautions will likely improve your chances of getting your phone back.
- Set up a password on both your phone and your SIM card. That way no one will be able to transfer the SIM card into another phone. Police say this is one of the least used security measures.
- Enable the GPS on your phone. Aps like “Find my iPhone” on the iPhone will help police track where the phone is.
- Take down your phone’s serial number.
By doing the above, stores and police can identify if a phone is stolen right away.