PHILADEPHIA, Oct. 28 -- New York Attorney General issued the following news release:
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, and Philadelphia Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown have joined the Secure Our Smartphones (S.O.S.) Initiative, which was launched by Attorney General Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon in June 2013. Co-chaired by Attorney General Schneiderman, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, and London Mayor Boris Johnson, this groundbreaking international coalition of law enforcement officers and consumer activists is working to encourage smartphone manufacturers to develop meaningful solutions to stop the rise of "Apple Picking" - the theft of popular mobile communications devices such as smartphones and tablets.
In joining the S.O.S. Initiative, Mayor Nutter, Attorney General Kane and Councilwoman Reynolds Brown - as well as current members Philadelphia District Attorney Williams and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Ramsey - represent a constituency affected by this serious crime. These leaders will add their powerful voices to call on the industry to develop a technological solution to protect consumers - such as a "kill switch" for stolen phones - and to dismantle the lucrative secondary market for stolen devices.
"Though most categories of crime are down in Philadelphia and nationwide, robberies are on the rise because of a spike in smartphone thefts," Attorney General Schneiderman said. "I'm thankful that Attorney General Kane, Mayor Nutter and Councilwoman Reynolds Brown have joined us in demanding that smartphone manufacturers be better corporate citizens and take steps to ensure the safety of their consumers. By teaming up with leaders across the country, we can to continue to put pressure on this global industry and help save innocent lives."
"I'm proud to join the Secure Our Smartphones Initiative," said Mayor Nutter. "Smartphone and cell phone theft is a growing epidemic in cities and towns across the nation, accounting for more and more of the robberies on our streets. We are calling on cell phone manufactures to act as responsible corporate citizens by designing their products with technology that would render stolen phones inoperable, negating the incentive to steal them in the first place. Together, we can reduce cell phone thefts and increase the safety of our communities."
"The underground market for smartphones is massive and lucrative, and it helps perpetuate violent robberies on our streets and public transportation," said Attorney General Kane. "The Office of the Attorney General is proud to partner with local, state and national law enforcement to support the S.O.S. initiative because it will reduce crime in communities across Pennsylvania."