Chicago cracks down on secondhand cell phone market

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a new measure to decrease cell phone theft in the city. Chicago police estimate that one in three thefts involve a stolen cell phone, with over 14,000 reported in the city last year. The new Secondhand Dealer ordinance went into effect October 23, 2017, and it's designed to reduce the number of stolen phones being bought and sold.

The ordinance created regulation to verify where a secondhand cell phone came from. It does so by creating a 72-hour waiting period for resellers to accept the phone, requiring businesses to keep a log of incoming phones, and checking all logged cell phones against a national database for lost and stolen phones. These regulations allow phones to be tracked better and make the sellers more responsible. 

“Cell phone robberies are a serious threat to public safety and a parent’s peace of mind,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Thanks to an ordinance passed this summer, enforcement has stepped up and a message is being sent to businesses that they can no longer flip a profit from a stolen phone.”