Over the last year, roughly one out of three robberies nationwide have involved the theft of a cellphone, according to an F.C.C. summary of the new plan. The thefts have grown most rapidly in urban areas; cellphones are stolen in more than 40 percent of all robberies in New York City and 38 percent of robberies in the District of Columbia, according to the groups.
“Our goal is to make a stolen cellphone as worthless as an empty wallet,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat who plans to introduce legislation to criminalize tampering with a phone’s unique identifier.
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