A Consumer Reports study released last week found that about 1/3 fewer people in the U.S. have experienced cell phone theft in 2014, than in 2013.
The Washington Post, in reporting the study, headlined that so-called cell phone "kill switches," which allow a phone immediately to be disabled if it's lost or stolen, "may be a factor" in the drop in theft.
MAY BE? Well that's putting it mildly. What idiot would think it might NOT be a factor? The cell phone service providers, perhaps, because while prosecutors and police around the country have pushed to make this simple feature mandatory, those who sell us our phone service (usually bundled in a contract with a cut-priced phone) took little interest. The unproven but plausible "grapevine" explanation for that was that the wireless service providers had every incentive to tolerate, if not encourage, theft, because every stolen phone meant a new one purchased as a replacement.
Be that as it may: Obviously a phone that won't work can't be sold, so it's no longer worth stealing. Common sense, it seems, "may have" been vindicated.