Fearing a rise in thefts, Riverside bans cash-for-electronics machines

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Matt Sayles/AP

Riverside officials say the kiosks, which dispense cash in exchange for used electronic devices, could make it easy for thieves to profit off stolen property.

Riverside officials have decided to ban machines that give cash for used cellphones, tablets and MP3 players because of theft concerns.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports the City Council voted last week to ban the self-serve kiosks in malls and other locations until there's better security.

Such machines can be found in San Bernardino, Ontario and Moreno Valley, but Riverside doesn't have them yet. People drop their unwanted smartphones and other gadgets into the machine, which takes a picture of the device and evaluates the condition. It gives a quote and spits out cash if customers accept.

Riverside police Chief Sergio Diaz says the machines make it easy for thieves to sell stolen electronics. But officials with ecoATM say users have to provide a photo ID and thumbprint.

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