NY Attorney General Seeks Help for Cell Thefts

ALBANY (AP) -

New York State’s attorney general asked smartphone makers on Monday to do more to protect consumers from violent street crimes known as “Apple picking,” or cellphone thefts.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he sent letters to top executives at Apple Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. seeking information about security efforts and asking them to work with his office to find ways to reduce theft. He said the mobile security company Lookout is advising his office on anti-theft measures.

Chris Guttman-McCabe, an executive with CTIA-The Wireless Association, said they have been working with city, state and federal law enforcement agencies on the issue and they’ve developed a comprehensive program to protect consumers including a new database of stolen smartphones to prevent their activation and educating consumers how to lock and password-protect their smartphones.