[Originally posted at KMSP-TV]
Minnesota lawmakers are looking at tougher restrictions on cash-for-phone kiosks and in-store trades, using the existing scrap metal law as a template.
THE BOTTOM LINE: No cash for phones.
The hope is this will prevent “Apple picking” crimes, in which thieves target iPhones they can quickly fence for cash. There are fears this leading to an increase in phone thefts, particularly at the University of Minnesota and in downtown Minneapolis.
Sen. Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) said the bill to make it tougher for thieves to sell off their stolen loot is modeled after the scrap metal law with changes made to apply to electronic devices.
“The bill prohibits cash for electronic devices and it also outlines other requirements to deter criminals and help law enforcement,” Sen. Dziedzic said. “The goal is not to overwhelm or overburden law-abiding citizens and law-abiding stores, but to hinder and stop some of the assaults and thefts.”
People who use the kiosks are required to provide contact information and many of them require a scan of a person’s thumbprint before the transaction is completed.