If someone snatches your cellphone, you can do more than just get mad. You can disable it, turning the device into a shiny paperweight.
D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier on Monday encouraged people to use that practice, known as “bricking.”
Lanier said victims of cellphone theft can contact their providers and have their phones remotely disabled, rendering them useless.
At the Monday news conference, Gray (D) and Lanier announced the launch of brickit.dc.
gov, a Web site dedicated to helping victims of cellphone theft.
The site contains links with directions on how to have a stolen phone disabled.
In April, the nation’s largest wireless carriers agreed to help crack down on cellphone thefts by creating a database to identify and disable stolen phones.
Cellphones, tablets and similar electronic devices, which often cost hundreds of dollars, are a target for thieves seeking high-value items that can be easily resold.