Police Sting Operation Yields No Mobile Phone Thefts
Police in Hastings, in the UK, outfitted mobile phones with tracking devices and left them in bars and restaurants, hoping to catch mobile phone thieves in the act. But no one stole them:
Nine premises were visited in total and officers were delighted that not one of the bait phones was ‘stolen’. In fact, on nearly every occasion good hearted members of the public handed them to bar or security staff.
I’m not sure about the headline: “Operation Mobli deters mobile phone thieves in Hastings.”
There are two things going on here. One, people are generally nice and will return property to its rightful owner. Two, it’s hard for the average person to profit from a stolen cell phone. He already has a cell phone that’s assigned to his phone number. He doesn’t really know if he can sell a random phone, especially one assigned to the number of someone who had her phone stolen. Yes, professional phone thieves know what to do, but what’s the odds that one of those is dining out in Hastings on a particular night?