DC Police Cut Down on Cell Phone Thefts

Major D.C. police undercover operation

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2012  |  Updated 7:01 AM EDT
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The DC Chief of Police along with Mayor Grey are cutting down on cell phone thefts through their ongoing investigation. NBC4's Jackie Bensen reports.

Jackie Bensen

The DC Chief of Police along with Mayor Grey are cutting down on cell phone thefts through their ongoing investigation. NBC4's Jackie Bensen reports.

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Following a dramatic increase in street robberies involving electronic devices in recent months, the Metropolitan Police Department went after not the robbers, but the people who buy the hot electronics and resell them.

In a major undercover operation, police arrested about two dozen people at 12 businesses that allegedly sold stolen electronic devices like iPhones, authorities said.

In order to hurt the robbers themselves, the operation was designed to make their crimes less profitable by shutting down their fences. Investigators believe they got most of the people who sell stolen electronics in D.C., News4’s Jackie Bensen reported.

The operation wrapped up about 6 p.m. Monday, and police are going through hundreds of recovered devices, Bensen reported.

Business owners were encouraging residents to steal electronics and sell them to the stores, which in turn sold them to consumers, Mayor Vincent Gray said.

As of Monday, there has been a 15 percent decrease in the crimes in the past 30 days.

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