Among the many concerns surrounding the unrest in the UK is the looting that has been occurring alongside the riots. According to a new report, however, those stoled iPhones are about to get much less valuable, as wireless carriers throughout the UK will be blocking stolen iPhones (and presumably other smartphones as well) from using their networks.
Smartphones have been a significant target for those looters using the riots as a security blanket for breaking into and robbing stores and homes throughout the UK. While the riots have been occurring, thousands of stolen iPhones and other smartphones have flooded the black market as thieves attempt to make a quick buck from their stolen goods.
MacWorld took the initiative to call several carriers in the UK to find out exactly what happens to an iPhone once it’s been slolen:
Once they have examined their stock records, store owners will be able to report the hardwired IMEI numbers for each lost handset which will result in networks adding them to their Equipment Identity Register (EIR), which will stop them working with any SIM within 24 hours.
The networks will in turn add their EIR list to the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR), a central database of IMEI numbers accessible by all major networks. That will turn off their use on any UK network within 48 hours.
Unfortunately, many of these stolen phones will probably have been sold to unsuspecting buyers before they get blocked, making the consumers who purchased them the unfortunate victims of the crime rather than affecting the thieves’ ability to sell their stolen loot.
Another possibility is that carriers could possibly track the stolen iPhones by using cell tower data, and perhaps locate stolen devices and get authorities involved in the matter.
While this is a good effort of the part of the wireless carriers, the unfortunate truth is that crime never works out to be convenient for anyone, and unfortunately, the criminals all too often to unpunished, leaving the unsuspecting victims holding the bag.