back to article UK mobiles not worth stealing

Mobile phones stolen in the UK are locked from their own network within 48 hours, and 98 per cent of them are locked from all (UK) networks within 48 hours. Despite that 800,000 were stolen last year, according to government figures. The locking figures come from tests run by MICAF (Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum) during …

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Anonymous Coward

Really stolen?

Are they really stolen? I seem to remember that a Met Police study showed that a lot of "stolen" phones were insurance fiddles to get an upgrade.

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Stop

Export

Expensive stolen phones are exported to the 3rd world... so don't buy a "bargain" abroad as it might not work when you get back home...

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And?

What was the point of making IMEI changing illegal? So it's now illegal to change the IMEI on a stolen mobile. When was that ever legal?

However, just because it won't work doesn't mean that the thief is not going to be able to sell it. After all, if you bought a stolen mobile in the pub and it didn't work, are you that likely to take it back and complain? No, didn't think so.

As a result, there is still a profit in it for the thieves most of whom are probably too dumb to know that it'll stop working in a couple of days so it would never stop then thieving. Most thieves are not distinguished by outstanding academic achievements.

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Go

lol, they arent blocked at all!

How on earth can their claim that, you just get an MT-Box and change the IMEA code lol

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Really locked?

"we don't know how expansive the testing was"

Not very, I would guess. Judging by the guy in my local who always has a carrier-bag full of 'second-hand' phones for sale.

He tells me that even if a handset is locked he can unbrick it - don't know how much of that was the Stella talking though.

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Paris Hilton

Shipping abroad

surly if they can flog the phones abroad then theres still a market to steal them ?

Also in the same vein if changing the IMEI is now illigal in the UK then you just have to ship it somewhere and change it there rather than here(where the labour is probally cheaper)

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Unhappy

For a moment I thought

it was a story about the Home Office's parrots. Don't f**king do this to me.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't want a phone

The assumption is that those stealing a phone want the phone as a phone. Often what they want is the other information that people keep on their phones these days. People use their phones as PDA's keeping all kinds of information that is more valuable to a thief than the phone. Especially since most people don't apply any kind of password protection because its to much of a hassle to have to enter the password in every time you want to do something.

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Stop

slight problem with the home office's plan

Someone who has just stolen your phone is really going to be worried that changing the IMEI number is illegal aren't they?

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Cigarettes.

Most cellphones aren't stolen because the thief wants the phone. Most get stolen because the thief wants the money/cigarettes/lighter/drugs/whatever that are in a bag that also contains the phone, and it's easiest just to take the bag.

If instead the thief is going through your pockets with one hand while holding a knife under your nose with the other (actually most thieves aren't that dextrous, they generally leave one of these to an accomplice), they will generally take your phone just to prevent you from using it to dial 999/911/112.

'Met Police study showed that a lot of "stolen" phones were insurance fiddles to get an upgrade' -- I suggest what this study really shows is that there *isn't a problem* in the UK with street robberies and the police *do respond* to 999 calls, in spite of what I happen to believe because of my experiences. So who did the Met survey then -- themselves?

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As if the kids will care

A lot of phones are stolen off of teenagers by other teenagers. They couldn't give a toss if it becomes locked in 6 hrs, let alone 48. They just make a load of calls, use up the available credit and then chuck the phones away, and pick on their next victim.

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mh.

What's the point?

Pretty much everyone who wants a mobile phone already has one. Obviously you will get some stolen to be sold abroad, some stolen because they're in someone's handbag, and some pinched from kids by other kids. However the market for dodgy phones has collapsed. You can buy a basic pay & go phone with £10 airtime for less than £20 (the Motorola F3 Blue, as recommended at http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/03/29/review_motorola_motofone_f3/). This is new, comes from a shop and has a warranty (and obviously isn't stolen).

The same happened with knocked off computer memory. When SIMMs cost £30 or more per MB (just before Windows 95 was released) there was quite a lot of money to be made with corporate machines having up to 64 MB. However the collapse in price meant that it just wasn't worth it any more. You can now buy a 1 GB DIMM for less than £20, which is equivalent to 1 MB costing less than 2p.

Sometimes it's just basic economics that cuts crime, not yet another initiative from the Home Office.

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Insurance jobbies.

You need a crime reference number to claim on most of the mobile phone insurance policies as they do not cover accidental damage. So when you drop your phone in a jack daniels and coke on a drunken night out you instantly put the sim card in a friends phone to get any numbers you have not saved or cannot get again and the next morning your down the local police station explaining you need a crime reference number as your mobile phone was stolen from the table you was sitting at last night. Then you phone your mobile company and give them the crime reference number, which they never actually check and there you go.

Of course this is all completely hypothetical and I have never knowingly committed insurance fraud.

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Happy

Worried abut having your mobile nicked?

Just buy a crap one, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/06/11/mobile_mugger_cheap/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Insurance jobbies

So you admit you may have inadvertently, unknowingly committed insurance fraud? That's like the other day when I accidentally and through no fault of my own pirated a whole bunch of music then absent-mindedly and without intent smoked a joint while I listened to it. :)

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