A measure that law enforcement officials say reduces the market for stolen cellphones is now law in the city of St. Louis.
The bill signed today by Mayor Francis Slay requires stores that buy and sell used mobile phones to get the real name, birth date, address, thumbprint and photo of anyone selling a used phone. Stores that suspect a phone is stolen must hold onto it for two months to allow for an investigation. Stores that fail to comply could lose their license to sell used goods.
Outgoing police chief Dan Isom asked for the change, but said people also need to take steps to avoid having their phones stolen.
"A lot of times, we believe that people are being robbed who have cellphones because they’re not paying attention to their surroundings," he said. "They’re talking on their phone as they’re walking down the street and they become a very good target."
The push for the legislation began after Megan Boken, a former Saint Louis University volleyball player, was shot dead in the Central West End by two men who wanted her iPhone.
Slay and incoming chief Sam Dotson, say they'll continue to push cellphone companies to create a database that would prevent a stolen phone from ever being reactivated.
Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann