New push to I.D. cell phone robber, new way to protect your phone

New push to I.D. cell phone robber, new way to protect your phone

Crime Stoppers needs your help identifying a gunman terrorizing workers at a cell phone store -- and crimes like these are actually leading to more protection for your phone.

A thug pulled a gun and put workers on the ground just to steal some phones.

It happened at the T-Mobile store in the shopping center at Lee and Harvard in Cleveland.

The hold-up took place months ago, and Cleveland Fourth District investigators still need to I.D. the bad guy .

But now some of the stolen phones are getting turned on in New York, Chicago and other places. What happened here is putting a spotlight on a problem all over.

Cell phone companies are days away from starting a database, collecting serial numbers of stolen smart phones. The idea: the phones on the list will show up as stolen--not to be turned on for any customer.

We spoke to the CTIA-- the wireless association. A trade group for the cell phone industry.

Jamie Hastings told us, "the database we've created will be international."

She added, "that, together with consumer education, certainly represent our commitment to support the efforts of law enforcement to deter the theft of smart phones."

So now if a smart phone is stolen from a store or from you--it should be harder for crooks to resell it or use it anywhere in the world.

Meantime, take a look at the bad guy from the T-Mobile hold-up. Call crime stoppers at 216-252-7463, or e-mail a tip at You could get a reward.

Copyright 2013 WOIO. All rights reserved.