Baltimore City Bans Cash-for-Phones Machines

As reported by Baltimore Sun, The Baltimore City Council voted unanimously Monday to ban automated kiosks that give money on the spot for used electronics — part of an effort to curb cellphone thefts.  As described previously in the Sun,

Police in Baltimore and elsewhere have said they believe the kiosks are driving theft, and ecoATM acknowledges that stolen phones end up in their machines. . . .If Baltimore passes the ban, the city will become the first local government in the region to take action on the machines. The kiosks were banned last month in Riverside, Calif.

MACo Board member and Baltimore City Councilwoman Rochelle Spector was a co-sponsor of the ordinance, 13-0237, along with other members of the Council.

According to testimony submitted by the Baltimore City Police Department,

Surrounding jurisdictions, including Washington D.C., report that a large number of stolen cell phones can be directly tracked to these machines and law enforcement nationally indicate that these types of outlets only encourage the theft of cell phones.

For more information, see the blog or previous story from the Baltimore Sun, or read the ordinance.