Harsher Penalties for Cell Phone Theft
NEW YORK STATE (WENY) -- Sen. Chuck Schumer wants to create harsher penalties for people who steal cell phones. His proposed legislation would make it a federal crime to tamper with a cell phone's unique I.D. number.
It ties in with a law he established last year creating a stolen cell phone registry. The registry can only work if those unique I.D. numbers are still in place.
Criminals could now face prison time if they are convicted of tampering with those numbers. Sen. Schumer started the initiative after seeing reports that cell phone thefts have gone up 64 percent in Syracuse since 2011.