In San Francisco police are undertaking a new tactic to stop people from buying stolen iPhones by trapping them in undercover stings. Dressed in plain clothes, the officers are going around certain city areas and selling iPhones which they readily indicate are stolen. When someone tries to buy one, they make an arrest.
The goal is to reduce the market for stolen iPhones by scaring consumers away. The police say that in San Francisco half of all thefts involve stealing smartphones, and often thieves target women. The police are specifically setting up in areas that they know are popular for selling stolen goods, like the corner of 7th and Market Streets.
What would be even better would be for a stolen iPhone to be rendered useless by the phone company. That way if stolen it would have no value.