Why do thieves still steal mobile phones?

BBC News: As the government boasts about improvements in blocking stolen mobile phones, industry experts are concerned Apple’s new iPhone will lead to a jump in thefts. So what good is a stolen mobile these days?

They’re impressive statistics. Every mobile phone reported stolen in the UK is blocked by its network provider for use on that network within 24 hours. Within 48 hours 90% are blocked from every network in the country, according to the Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum (MICAF).

Police say 800,000 Britons have their phones stolen every year. They are taken in 52% of all robberies and in 28% of all thefts they are the only thing taken, says the Home Office.

But if they are rendered useless so quickly why are so many still stolen and why are there serious concerns that the UK launch of the Apple iPhone could prompt a sharp rise in thefts?

New technology to dodge security measures, along with mobiles becoming a currency in their own right in some countries are part of the answer. Along with the simple fact that thieves will always take whatever “valuables” are around during a robbery.

The industry and police have worked hard to stop mobile thefts. Blocking, and other measures, having been credited for a 20% drop in such crime. But it’s not a fool-proof system and a phone can be unblocked, even though it is a criminal offence to do so in the UK.

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