Re: DA Wants to Restrict Pre-Paid Cell Phones

>> "To get a prepaid phone, all you have to do is plunk down your cash

>> and walk out of the store -- no paperwork necessary. Castor says >> that's a problem for his detectives because they can't track down the >> owner of the phone." > Yea, that's a bitch. Cars are also a problem, why with a car someone > can commit a crime and be miles away in very little time. I think they > should ban everything that can possibly be used in any criminal > activity! > [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: One notable difference however is that > while cars _are_ frequently used to commit crimes, the car has to be > in close proximity to the crime scene, and theoretically at least, the > car is easily traceable from its license plate or VIN; or God Forbid > that the criminal presented a driver's license (for example, when > passing a bad check). That, plus a photo of the car license plate from > an overhead camera will frequently nail the criminal, no matter how > many miles away he gets in a short time. With the prepaid 'untraceable' > cell phone however, one does not need to be anywhere near the scene > of the crime. PAT]

And a set of stolen or forged plates makes that so much more difficult.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: You are correct on that. In the 'semi- automatic' days of gasoline credit cards (1970's mostly) when the dealer had to manually fill in the gas ticket and imprint your credit card by hand, then you had to sign, Amoco made a point of writing down the license plate number of vehicles. Then, if the owner of the credit card refused payment and claimed his credit card had been stolen, or forged or whatever, clerks at Amoco would look at the microfilm reels of driver's records for the state in particular and look up the name and address of the license plate holder. That particular driver would then get a letter; not exactly threatening, but not exactly friendly, either:

"Dear Mr. Jones: On (date) at (time) at (location) a (vehicle make and model) registered to you received a fill up of gas by using a credit card, the owner of which stated to us under oath was stolen/misused/ abused. We would very much appreciate a response from you telling us how you think this may have happened. Sincerely, Amoco Credit Department". Mr. Jones (if he was the purchaser) was in effect put on notice that the collectors did not want to hear any more nonsense about his alleged 'stolen credit card' (if the same Jones was also the card holder). Often times however, Jones would write back to say that his license plates had been stolen. PAT]

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