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Bill Makes Theft Of Numbers A Felony

Fri., Feb. 7, 1997

Idaho lawmakers may not be able to reach those who crouch under overpasses in Los Angeles or New York City, trying with sophisticated equipment to steal cellular phone serial numbers.

But they are going to try.

Under legislation approved Wednesday by the House Judiciary and Rules Committee, anyone caught stealing serial numbers or illegally possessing equipment allowing them to do so would be charged with a felony.

“We are ripe for cloners to sit in airports or by freeways, or anywhere people are using cellular phones, and sit with their modified scanners and record cell numbers and sell them to people in New York and L.A.,” said Freeman Duncan, legislative liaison for the state attorney general’s office, which is sponsoring the bill.

Phone cloners stole Attorney General Al Lance’s number while he was traveling, then made $5,000 in phone calls, Duncan said. The Ada County prosecutor also was a victim with some $24,000 in charges racked up, mostly in calls to South America.

, DataTimes

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