SF Police Likes Apple's "Kill Switch" to Curb Smartphone Theft

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    NEWSLETTERS

    San Francisco's police chief wanted smartphone kill switches to curb thefts. Apple granted his wish on Monday. Hear what he has to say about it. Jean Elle reports. (Published Monday, Jun 10, 2013)

    The hi-tech Apple Worldwide Developers Conference has the attention of law enforcement.

    Apple announced Monday a new safety feature on its latest operating system called Activation Lock, nicknamed the "kill switch."

    If your phone is stolen and thieves disable the "Find My iPhone" or wipe it clean, they can't turn it back on without your Apple ID and password -- making your phone inoperable and hard to sell for a quick buck.

    San Francisco's Police Chief Greg Suhr says -- with cell phone theft a national epidemic -- it's about time regarding Apple's announcement.

    Suhr believes Apple is starting a trend.

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    "I know Samsung says it's working on something similar. They seem to be in horse race right now," he says. "The next thing is to work with providers."

    Suhr says since Australia started "bricking" stolen phones, robberies are down 25 percent.

    Apple's announcement comes just days before San Francisco's district attorney is attending a cell phone summit in New York, where he plans to pressure cell phone companies to pursue technical solutions to the fast-growing street crime in the nation.