In 2012 over half of thefts in San Francisco involved cell phone theft. In the same year over three quarters of thefts in Oakland were cell phone theft. Over the past decade we have seen the price of premium smartphones continue to rise and the presence of these premium phones to be more and more ubiquitous among the general population. Consequently, robbers and crooks are making the bet that they can rob almost anyone at anytime and the victim will not only have on their person a wallet or purse with cash and cards, but also a cell phone worth over half of a thousand dollars.
Today marks another win for consumers in the telecommunications industry. Today, after Congress passed a bipartisan bill earlier in the year, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that allows consumers to legally unlock their cell phones. Prior to today, it was considered illegal for consumers to unlock their phones to use on another network, domestic or abroad, and was punishable by up to five years in prison.
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