With so many people having cell phones in Las Vegas, an unfortunate yet almost expected consequence is that there will be cell phone theft.
Everywhere you look, it seems that someone is on a cell phone, many times completely oblivious to their surroundings.
That is exactly what the criminals connected with the two cell phone theft rings busted in Southwest Las Vegas thrived on.
They would look for people that were either talking on their cell phones or texting, or that appeared unaware of the surroundings or somehow distracted and then they would run up to them, grab their cell phone out of their hand and run up to a nearby car that was waiting for them and escape.
The Las Vegas Sun reports that police reflect 50 reported cell phone thefts in the Southwest Valley. That figure is likely higher because not all victims report cell phone theft.
The target of the cell phone theft rings were high end cell phones like the iPhone.
Two men, Justin Profit, 18, and Joseph Neal Cardenas, 24 were arrested. Online records show that Profit was arrested on 8-8-12 for burglary and conspiracy to commit to burglary while Cardenas was arrested on 8-2-12 for 28 counts including burglary, grand larceny and other related charges.
A 20 year old woman, Heather M. Serenbetz who served at the getaway driver for one of the cell phone theft rings was arrested on 8-27-12 for conspiracy to commit a crime and attempted grand larceny.
Six juveniles were also arrested in connection with the case.
One of the reason people steal cell phones is because it is very easy to resell them and have them turned on again. T-Mobile and At & T phone, for example. use a SIM card to connect to the network. All a thief has to do is remove the SIM card, sell the phone and the person who purchases the phone simply has to insert their own SIM card.
The cell phone companies currently have the technology available right now to disable a cell phone based on the phones identification number but they do not utilize this technology.
The good news is that the major cell phone companies are working with the FCC on new rules to combat cell phone theft.
They are currently creating their own databases to support this initiative and long term plans call for all the individual data base to be combined into a national database.
Until then, it is important to pay close attention to your surroundings so that you do not fall victim to the other rings like the cell phone theft rings busted in Southwest Las Vegas, since there are surely more rings in operation.
Here are some tips on protecting your cell phone and what details you should keep on hand in case you need to report a cell phone theft.