New smartphone feature is working to stop thieves - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

New smartphone feature is working to stop thieves

Some cities report smartphone thefts have plummeted by double digits. (FOX 8 photo) Some cities report smartphone thefts have plummeted by double digits. (FOX 8 photo)
(WVUE) -

Some cities report smartphone thefts have plummeted by double digits since manufacturers introduced a "kill switch" feature.

That kill switch enables users to power down their stolen phones remotely.

Officials in New York and San Francisco say the number of stolen iPhones reported to city police have plummeted by 40 percent and 25 percent, respectively, since Apple released the feature in 2013, Reuters reports.

Apple, AT&T, Google, Nokia and Samsung have signed an agreement to make anti-theft switches available on all phones manufactured after July 2015.

Lawmakers in California and several other states are considering whether to make "kill switches" a mandatory feature on all smartphones.

The FCC says one tenth of all thefts in the U.S. involve a mobile device.

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