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D.C. police to offer reward program for gadget thefts

Tuesday - 1/24/2012, 7:03am  ET

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Lanier said she plans to offer as much as $10,000 for an arrest and conviction. (WTOP)

WASHINGTON - D.C. police are about to offer a smartphone rebate to beat all others.

Chief Cathy Lanier says she plans to roll out a reward program for those who have information about theft-and-resale operations involving gadgets like smartphones, GPS units and tablet computers.

"Anything from $1,000 for an anonymous tip to $10,000 for an arrest and conviction on tips," Lanier said at a community meeting Monday in the Shepherd Park area of Northwest, where there have been numerous thefts from cars recently.

"If the bad guys are getting $300 for a phone, I'm going to give you $10,000 to tell me who's doing the robberies and where they're fencing them," Lanier said.

Lanier said she also hopes to have cellphone companies permanently disable stolen phones. She said she's working with the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to try to make that happen.

Lanier said she hopes to announce the reward program officially this week. And she's confident it will be successful.

"The tips will come -- there is no honor among thieves," she said. "People will be calling and fighting for that money."

WTOP's Michelle Basch contributed to this report. Follow Michelle and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)