Cell phone drop boxes raise concerns - CBS46 News

Cell phone drop boxes raise concerns

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

People wanting to dispose of old cell phones and MP3 players can drop them in boxes placed at various malls in metro Atlanta and get instant cash. 

While some cell phone users say the kiosks are convenient, law enforcement agencies said they have some concerns the drop boxes will encourage thieves to steal electronic devices.

"It's definitely more convenient I would think," said Ben Wilson, a cell phone owner. "If I had a cell phone I wanted to get rid of, it would be a whole lot easier." 

However, Wilson said he understands why police agencies are concerned with the new technology.

"You're up to the kiosk in a couple of minutes," said Deputy Chief Carlton Mullis of the Georgia State University police department. "You're out and you're gone so really within minutes of a theft the phone is disposed of.  The evidence of the crime is gone."

The kiosks are operated by ecoATM, a California-based company. The company's website says every transaction is monitored with cameras and those turning in cell phones must provide picture identification, a fingerprint and the device's serial number.

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