It’s probably happened to some of us – we’re focused on checking email or texting on the go that we might not be aware of our surroundings. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said smartphone robberies are becoming more of a problem because it can mean easy money.
“People who are on their smartphones often are distracted,” he said, “you know, if they’re listening to music or something. People just knock them over, grab [the cell phone], and it’s too easy.”
NY AG Schneiderman explains how thieves cash in on stolen smartphones.
A rise in smartphone robberies is why Schneiderman and the San Francisco District Attorney began the “Secure Our Smartphones Coalition.” Unlike other cities, Syracuse is lucky and has yet to report any fatality due to cell phone robberies. However, Frank Fowler, Syracuse Police Chief, said phone thefts have risen in the past year. According to Fowler, they account for more than 1/3 of all robberies.
“Robberies of any type of property places people in harm’s way. When we can discourage this type of robbery, we can have an opportunity to decrease our robberies by 35%, and that’s a great number.” The "kill switches" would make the phones less appealing to thieves. But Schneiderman says there's also little incentive for manufacturers and even the service providers, who are not cooperating.
Experts and community leaders joined Congressmember Dan Maffei Tuesday at the Erie Canal Museum for a roundtable meeting to talk about the state of the region's infrastructure.
The City of Syracuse, for example, has been dealing with dozens of water main breaks because of the extreme cold. Much of the water system is at least 100 years old. C & S Companies Engineer Orrin MacMurray says Syracuse is not alone.
Representative Dan Maffei has joined the discussion on education reform by releasing his new plan for strengthening education in Central New York. Also in attendance were local education leaders including the Syracuse Teachers Association President, a transfer counselor from Cayuga Community College and the Vice President of the Syracuse University Student Association.