Smart phone crime battled at local, national level - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Smart phone crime battled at local, national level

(WMC-TV) - Smart phone crimes are exploding across the country. One in every three crimes in the United States involve some type of smart phone.

This week, two men were robbed of their smart phones at gunpoint on Southern Avenue near the University of Memphis campus. As a result, Mayor A C Wharton is weighing in on options to deter smartphone crime.

"I'm more concerned about robbing folks to get these at gunpoint than I am about scrap metal," said the mayor.

The University of Memphis reportedly has the lowest level of crime than any of the other large universities in the state of Tennessee. But even so, students are still expected to be aware of their surroundings.

"Pay attention to what is around you," said University of Memphis Police Director Bruce Harber. "Don't walk around with ear buds in your ear."

Nationally, law enforcement is working with smartphone companies to develop technology to make it harder for crooks to steal smart devices.

"To try and put you know something similar to a kill switch in an automobile to try and eliminate the market for stolen cell phones," said Harber.

Memphis mayor A C Wharton would like to see tougher laws on the books.

"When you walk into the store and say I want a new SIM card, I ought to have to show you the phone that it's going in and I ought to have to tell you or show you proof of purchase that this phone isn't a hot phone," explained Wharton.

It is a lot of attention focused on bringing down smartphone crime from law enforcement and elected leaders in the Mid-South, and across the country.

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