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Schumer Cracking Down On Cell Phone Thefts

Senator Chuck Schumer has a new plan to stop the high number of cell phone thefts in the Rochester area.
Senator Chuck Schumer has a new plan to stop the high number of cell phone thefts in the Rochester area. 

Kevin White is pretty lucky.

"I never lost my phone or got it stolen," he said.

Cell phone thefts are up in Rochester.

"Seventy-five percent of all robberies involve a cell phone; and why? Because they cost a lot of money and they're easy to steal," Schumer said.

Having your cell phone stolen can leave you in a lurch.

"I would be in a lot of trouble. I have a lot of personal and professional information because they're really not phones anymore, right? They're devices that have computers and vital information," John Getz said.

That is why Senator Schumer is spearheading an effort to create a national database for stolen cell phones. 

"If after November 30th your phone is stolen, you report it into your carrier and it goes on a national registry. So even if your phone is Verizon and the thief tries to sell it back into an AT&T network, it's one registry," he said.

Now he is taking the fight a step further. Schumer is proposing new legislation that would make tampering with a cell phone's pin number a federal crime. 

"The bill is called the Mobile Device Theft Deterrence Act and it adds criminal penalties of up to five years for tampering with cell phones to circumvent the service ban on a stolen phone," he said.

Schumer says all the cell phone companies are supporting the bill. Cell phone users in Rochester are too. 

"I think it's a good idea to make it more difficult because they'll always find a way," Mary Farrell said. 
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