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Prosecutors urge use of iPhone anti-theft system

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September 18, 2013 04:51 PM EST | AP

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SAN FRANCISCO — Top prosecutors in San Francisco and New York and the mayor of London are urging iPhone users to download Apple's new iOS 7 operating system that includes a feature they believe might curb a rash of thefts.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and London Mayor Boris Johnson said in a joint statement Wednesday they believe the iOS 7's activation lock is an important step toward ending iPhone thefts worldwide.

They said the feature is available on the newest iPhone and can also be downloaded on older models, but it's too early to know how effective it will be in preventing thefts.

The lawmakers have been pressuring leading manufacturers to create anti-theft features, including a kill switch to render smartphones inoperable.