With reports of thefts of smartphones circulating online, Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio is proposing a bill to make it a felony to resell stolen cell phones.
The bill would impose a five-year prison term on people who alter phones' unique identifiers, called International Mobile Equipment Identities. Cell carriers are also working to create a database of those identifiers to stop them from being reactivated after being stolen. But critics have said they're not doing enough to deter thefts. Columbus police officials have created a team of officers to address the issue.