Make it illegal to tamper with cellphone serial numbers, says New Democrat

OTTAWA – New Democrat MP Mike Sullivan wants the federal government to crack down on cellphone thefts.

Sullivan is tabling a bill today that would make it illegal in Canada to tamper with a cellphone’s serial number.

The private member’s bill is a follow up to Sullivan’s motion last year calling for a national database to track stolen phones, a measure currently being developed by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association.

Sullivan says his bill would cripple the underground trade in stolen cellphones by making it easier for police and owners to track their whereabouts.

He says it would also curb an outbreak of phone-related muggings in Toronto and elsewhere in Canada, which he calls a crime of opportunity.

Sullivan says under the current system, it’s too easy to reactivate a stolen mobile phone with a different service provider.