In Washington, DC, New York and other large American cities, roughly 40% of all robberies now involve smart phones–endangering the physical safety of victims, as well as the security of the personal information on the stolen devices. In addition to the loss and injury experienced during the initial crime, there is an added risk of identity theft if the stolen smartphone isn’t password protected to prevent a thief from getting access to private information on the device.
If a person’s smart phone is lost or stolen, he or she may now contact the carrier and ask to have that device remotely disabled. If a smart phone is rendered inactive in such a manner, it’s often considered to be as useful as a “brick.” These “bricked” phones are of little use to thieves because they can’t be reactivated after being sold on the black market. The MPD is encouraging victims of smart phone thefts to call their carriers and to “brick it” in an effort to deter smart phone theft.
By bricking your phone, you will permanently disable your device and help us eliminate the black market for stolen smart phones. We can reduce robberies by eliminating the reason criminals steal smart phones in the first place!
- Contact Your Carrier (Federal Communications Commission)
- Stolen and Lost Wireless Devices (Federal Communications Commission)
- Robbery Prevention Tips from the MPD
- Theft and Pickpocket Prevention Tips from the MPD