Cell phone robberies have been on the rise for the last number of years. Lawmakers in Washington have taken notice, and manufacturers may finally be planning to do something about it.


Apple and Samsung say they are going to put 'kill switches' into new devices, which, if you activate them, would make them useless for anyone that steals your phone. Maggie Reardon at CNET says the threat of regulation is motivating the cell phone makers.


“You’ve got Minnesota that’s adopted a law. California is trying to push through legislation. And there’s a bill at the Federal level that’s still in committee that people are trying to push through,” Reardon told KTRH News.


Reardon says the manufacturers had to do something.


“They would rather do this themselves than be forced to do this through regulation. They realize this is something that lawmakers want and they are trying to figure out a way to do it,” Reardon explained.


No one is 100% sure how it would work, but it looks like it will be an 'opt-in' feature when you set up your phone. Reardon, though, is afraid many people will ignore it just like they do the password feature your phone has.


“If it’s ‘opt’-in’ not everyone is going to do it,” Reardon stated.


And then there’s the question of whether or not it’s a good solution.


“Hopefully it will act as a deterrent,” Reardon said.


Last year over 3 million people reported having their phones stolen. That was up from 1.6 million people in 2012.