BALTIMORE - Baltimore City Council passed a ban Monday to keep EcoATM kiosks outside of city limits.
The machines dispense cash in exchange for unused mobile devices. Police and lawmakers however have said that the kiosks can be an avenue for criminals who steal cell phones .
“Tonight’s vote was a step in the right direction for a safer Baltimore,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. “These machines have been known to attract criminal activity, making it harder for communities to be safe.
“I support this ban and additional efforts that government and private industry can make to reduce incidents of crime surrounding these machines and to improve technologies that can permanently deactivate a stolen cell phone—making the device obsolete and reducing the incentive for criminals to steal them,” she continued.
Although not mentioned by name the company EcoATM is directly impacted by the city ban. In a phone conversation with ABC2 News, a representative from company said it was disappointed by the Council’s final vote.
“[We] worked very hard with Baltimore police and lawmakers to address their concerns,” the spokesman said.
Baltimore City may not be the only municipality considering a ban on the kiosks. At least two Maryland delegates have said they will draft legislation to ban EcoATM kiosks statewide .
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