Invisible numbers hold key to battling cell thieves

(05/09/08) THE BRONX ? A free tool available through the NYPD could help residents retrieve their cell phones in the event they are stolen.

Thefts of cell phones are on the rise in the Bronx and rest of the city. The most desirable model for thieves seems to be the Sidekick. Police say that particular model is popular among thieves because with the simple switch of a sim card, crooks can start using it right away.

Thieves typically ask a victim for the time, then when the person pulls out their phone to get that information, it is taken right out of their hands.

However, residents have a tool that could allow them to get their phones back if they are stolen. Police can use cell phone etching to engrave a tracking number inside a person?s phone. The number is invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen with an ultraviolet light.

If a stolen phone is recovered by police, they can match the number to the phone?s rightful owner.

Cell phone etching is free and can be performed at any precinct without an appointment. Cell phone carrier T-Mobile also suggests owners protect their Sidekicks with passwords for both the phones and sim cards.


advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

New legislation passed by the City Council will 1 Word on the Street: Bedbugs
A man, seen on surveillance video, fired several 2 Police: Man sought in connection with Pugsley Ave. shooting
Police say a mall guard was trying to 3 Police: 6 sought in stabbing of mall guard in Bay Plaza
VIDEO: Bronx restaurant owner attacked, robbed in apartment 4 VIDEO: Bronx restaurant owner attacked, robbed in apartment building
News 12 The Bronx has learned that two 5 Officials: Apartments damaged in Bronx Boulevard fire

advertisement | advertise on News 12


Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.