Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is urging leading smartphone makers to develop technology to protect consumers by drying up secondary markets for stolen phones.
Masto is a member of the Secure Our Smartphones Initiative, an international effort that includes prosecutors, police, state and city officials and public safety activists. The goal is to reduce the number of robberies that target smartphones.
In the United States, Masto says one-in-three thefts involve mobile communication devices. Consumer Reports estimates 1.6 million Americans were victimized by smartphone thieves in 2012.
Authorities say street-level thieves feed a global market for stolen phones. Phones reported stolen in the U.S. and no longer able to access domestic cell networks can be reactivated in foreign countries and fetch big dollars on the black market.
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