DENVER (CBS4)– As our smart phones continue to become more powerful and more expensive and seemingly a growing necessity in our society, thieves are enticed by the mini-computers.

Cell phone robberies are on the rise across the U.S.

Police believe that walking down the street talking or surfing the web on your cell is the equivalent of walking down the street flaunting a handful of cash.

“Think if you took $300 out of the ATM machine. You would not walk down the block for several blocks counting the 20s,” said San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr.

The problem is becoming so rampant that stolen devices cost consumers $30 billion a year. Those devices are worth a lot on the street.

“A late-model iPhone brings in $300. If it gets exported to Latin America or Asia or Africa it can bring in as much as $700 to $1,000,” said Suhr.

Pressure is mounting for cell phone carriers and manufacturers to figure out a way to deter thefts. The nation’s largest carriers are getting more aggressive and participating in a new nationwide database for stolen phones to prevent them from being activated.


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