D.C. Asks FCC for Smartphone Theft Help

District smartphone thefts on rise

As smartphone robberies climb in and around the District, D.C. Police officials are asking the FCC to help in the fight against technology theft.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said Friday that theft from autos and general theft are both up about 50 percent -- most of which includes electronic devices.

The District is working with government officials to create a special technology that may allow victims of theft to remotely lock wireless devices once they are reported stolen, Gray said.

“We are working with the Federal Communications Commission and working with the providers of these communication devices to immediately render them useless, to immediately deactivate them, so that stealing will lead to no economic gain,” Gray said.

Gray said thieves are stealing electronic devices like cell phones from vehicles and then wiping the devices’ memories before re-selling them.

“As long as we continue to have these kinds of situations, people will continue to feel vulnerable and we don’t want that to happen,” Gray said.

In the meantime, there are smartphone applications available for download that can help you or authorities discover the location of your stolen device in the event of a theft.

Apple’s “Find My iPhone” is a free application available for download through iTunes and works across devices (including iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, etc.) and allows users to login to any iOS device and sign in with your Apple ID to locate your misplaced device on a map.

There are also a number of applications available on the Android Market for cell phones that use the Android operating system, including “Find My Phone” which retails for 99 cents and “Find My Phone Siren,” a free application that can even wipe your phone’s memory remotely.

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