Councilwoman wants to ban ‘cash for cell phone’ machines

reynolds brown wants to ban cash for cell phone machines
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown wants to ban machines that dispense cash for unwanted small electronics.
Credit: Rikard Larma / Metro

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown on Thursday will introduce legislation banning the use of “cash for cell phone” machines in Philadelphia.

The automated purchasing machines dispense instant cash in exchange for discarded electronics, such as cell phones, MP3 players and tablet computers. There is one such machine in Philadelphia, located at the Franklin Mills Mall, according to the councilwoman.

Reynolds Brown said in a release that the bill was inspired by a March report from global mobile security firm Lookout, which found Philadelphia has the highest lost and stolen cell phone rates in the nation.

She further noted that, according to AAA, one in three robberies nationwide involves a stolen cell phone.

“Most Philadelphians have either been the victim of, or know someone who has had a cell phone, iPod, tablet or other electronic device stolen. This is a major public safety concern,” Reynolds Brown said in a statement.

“Cell phone robberies are the crime of today and far too many of them are turning violent. We as a city cannot allow further incentives entice criminal activity.”

Baltimore City Council last month passed a bill prohibiting the machines, while Delegate Luke Clippinger introduced a statewide ban in Maryland.

In a March interview with The Washington Post, a Washington, D.C., police spokeswoman called the machines “a huge problem … The opportunity for quick cash is driving robberies of smartphones.”

“This is also an economic concern because these devices are very expensive,” Reynolds Brown said in a statement.

“A stolen cell phone can break the bank for a lot of families, particularly those who give them to young people to stay in touch. These machines are not the right fit for the city of Philadelphia.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.