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Smartphone makers urged to improve security

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The number of smartphone thefts is up in New York State, and the state's attorney general wants manufacturers to help stop more crimes.

The theft of Apple devices or 'Apple picking' alone rose 40 percent between 2011 and 2012.

Attorney Gen. Eric Schneiderman has sent letters to Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung asking for information regarding security protections. The idea would be to make the phones unusable after they've been stolen.

The NYPD is already working with Apple to track stolen devices.

Some of the thefts of iPhone and Samsung phones have turned violent. One theft even ended in death.

The FCC is working with the wireless phone industry to create a national database to track phones but that's still many months away.

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