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Law Enforcement try to Crack Down on Smart Phone Thefts
(CBS 2/ FOX 28)-- Imagine being on your smartphone when a thief runs off with it.
"It's not surprising at all that there would be a lot of violent theft," said Corporal Claude Howard of the Marion Police Department.
Howard says cell phones are the new targets for criminals trying make a quick buck.
"The smart phone now has the lead-in to everyone's life, account numbers, personal information," he said.
Nationwide, smartphone thefts are on the rise, involved in one out of every three robberies.
Police say it's not so much about protecting the value of the phone as stopping the violence that often breaks out when they're stolen.
Law enforcement across the country is trying to stop that trend by demanding cell phone companies develop a "kill switch" to stop a phone from working if stolen, almost like canceling a credit card.
Cedar Rapids based company Security Coverage Inc. has developed "Phone Protect"-- a product that lets users message, lock, or get rid of information on their cell phones if stolen or lost.
“We give them a place to go to get help," said Ed Barrett, Vice President of Security Coverage.
He says their goal is to help victims help themselves.
"There are some very real risks of that mobile phone which really is a computer that you carry around in your hand," Barrett said.