Stolen Cell Phones Sales on the Rise - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Stolen Cell Phones Sales on the Rise

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SAVANNAH, GA -

Have you ever wondered what happened to your cell phone after it was lost or stolen?

Investigators say there are several businesses in the Coastal Empire that can wipe a phone clean and assign it a new number, no questions asked.

This is a growing trend across the country, especially right here in Savannah. These days, we are so connected through calls, texting, and social media-- many of us spend our days cell phone in hand, and that makes us easy targets.

It's a common scene around Savannah. Go down town and take a look around, everyone is on their phone.

It is second nature to Nicole Jacob- Montes.

"Most of the time I have it out for my music, checking text messages; checking everything."

And because of the high price tag on these items, so is the demand on the street. Captain mike Wilkins says its leads to quick easy money.

"The average street robbery doesn't net that much cash but cell phones, especially a smart phone, can be turned around in many cases, fairly quickly. And you can get a good bit for them."

The resale value—whether online or on the street—could result in hundreds of dollars. One Stop Wireless buys old phones. Manager, Joshua Macy says they are now taking extra steps to make sure they are not slinging stolen goods.

"Working with the local police department is something we have taken the initiative to do. We have paperwork we have filled out saying that our intent here is clearly not to purchase these devices. A valid driver's license is needed when they are selling a device to us."

The phones can often be tracked though the carrier or other sources. Macy says If something does not seem right, they go with their gut because its always better to be safe than sorry.

"Obviously, if the device comes in with a lock code on it and the person does not know the lock code, there are a few red flags that we can catch before we even check data bases."

Captain Wilkins says this sort of thing is preventable and there are steps you can take to ensure you are not a victim.

"You don't want to be walking down the street looking at your phone, concentrating on your phone and texting while you are walking. You want to be aware of your surroundings; you want to know what is going on."

Something else Captain Wilkins says you should do, write down the electronic serial number of your device and keep it in a safe place. That way, if your phone was to ever go missing or become stolen, it is easier to track and stores like One Stop Wireless can be on the lookout for it, if it were to be brought in.

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