It's Become Really Dumb to Steal Cellphones

The days of stealing cellphones are almost over: Stealing a homing beacon is pretty stupid, even for dumb criminals. A woman had her purse snatched—but had Google's Latitude location service running on her cellphone inside.

You know what happens next: She tracked her phone (and the thief carrying it) in real-time, told the police exactly where this douchebag was, and he got arrested. Case closed. Like the guy who stole somebody's iPod and kept the playlist—a new kind of fingerprint—or the guy who sent emails from his victim's iPhone.

Not everyone has their phone lo-jacked with this kind of location service yet, but in a Twittered world, it doesn't seem far off. Could this kind of petty theft go obsolete one day? I doubt it, but it's a nice thought. And scary, since it means someone's watching you too. [CBS5 via TechCrunch]