A new crime-fighting duo has emerged. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have announced they're joining forces to fight the nationwide rapid rise of mobile phone thefts, better known as "Apple-picking."
The duo is hosting a smartphone summit next week in the Big Apple, where they hope to convince executives from the smartest smartphone slingers --Apple, Google/Motorola, Microsoft and Samsung -- that it is time to create a "kill switch" for these phones.
A kill switch would allow a victim to ensure the crooks -- or anyone for that matter -- could not use their phone period. It would essentially make the phone as useful as a can.
This would, hopefully, give crooks less incentive to steal smartphones, the district attorneys said.
Gascón said that last year about 50 percent of all robberies in the city included a cell phone or some type of mobile device. In some cases, thieves stole wantonly from kids, including a 6-year-old boy using his mom's iPhone while sitting outside of a Bayview church.
"With 1.6 million Americans falling victim to smartphone theft in 2012, this has become a national epidemic," Gascón said in a statement released yesterday. "Unlike other types of crimes, smartphone theft can be eradicated with a simple technological solution."