WASHINGTON (AP) — District of Columbia officials say they’re taking steps to deter cell phone thefts.

Mayor Vincent Gray and Police Chief Cathy Lanier said Monday that residents whose phones are stolen can now call their carriers and have them remotely disconnected.

The goal is to make the phone useless for anyone looking to steal it or sell it on the black market. The news follows the announcement last April that major wireless carriers had agreed to disable phones after they had been reported stolen.

A new website, http://www.brickit.dc.gov , offers robbery prevention tips and a link to a Federal Communications Commission website that lists the numbers of major carriers.

Lanier says dozens of extra officers will be patrolling major shopping areas across the city during the holiday season.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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