Armed Robbers are Targeting Cell Phone Stores


It started in Lansing on May 11th when a Man walked into a Metro PCS with a gun and swiped cell phones and cash. The next day, three men robbed a Verizon Store in Delhi Township. Holt was the next town to be hit on June 8th. The latest store was “The Wireless Zone” in Jackson who was robbed on Saturday.

All the incidents involved a gun, and to date, none of the thieves have been caught.

Capt. Greg Harris of the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office says they could be related. He also says the compact devices are easy for people to take many at once and that price is a factor.

“20 phones at $1,000 a piece, that $20,000. That’s a pretty good haul.”

That “haul” has some people saying cell phone stores are the new banks. But why can’t stolen cell phones be traced?

A security analysis at BitLyft says its nearly impossible.

“All it has {cell phone} is a serial number and that may not even be on the box, it may be just on the device itself. So unless the cell phone store is keeping very careful track of the serial numbers, they may not have a way to identify the phone, and if you can’t identify the phone, you can’t track it.” said Ryan Gallant.

Cell phones fresh from the box don’t have the security features set-up yet like face recognition software and fingerprints, making them an easier target than phones that are owned.

If you have any information about the armed robberies please call Crime Stoppers (517) 483-STOP.

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