Here in DC we are having a crime wave of stolen cell phones (article in Washington Post Express, not onlline). How does the market for stolen cell phones work? As I understand it, if mine were stolen I would notify my provider, who would disable it, thus destroying its resell value. Except clearly it does not work that way, hence the market for stolen phones.
Also, since our cell phone providers are clearly tracking our phones, surely they could work with police to recover stolen phones. So why don't they?