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Phones armed with anti-theft features

SAN FRANCISCO: In the wake of increasing incidents of smartphone thefts, mobile manufacturing giant Samsung Electronics is set to add two anti-theft features to its latest smartphone.

The new anti-theft features allow Samsung Galaxy S5 users to track devices and require the owner's account information to reset the phone. The announcement was made by the company on Friday and is in line with US law enforcement officials demanding manufacturers to develop features to combat mobile thefts across the country.

The world's largest mobile-phone maker said users will be able to activate for free its "Find My Mobile" and "Reactivation Lock" anti-theft features to protect the soon-to-be-released Galaxy 5 S.

Apple created a similar "activation lock" feature for the popular iPhone last year.

The features that will lock the Samsung phone if there's an unauthorized attempt to reset it will be on models sold by wireless carriers Verizon and US Cellular.

"Samsung takes the issue of smartphone theft very seriously, and we are continuing to enhance our security and anti-theft solutions," the company said.

Earlier this week, California legislators introduced a bill that, if passed, would require mobile devices sold in or shipped in the state be equipped with the anti-theft devices starting next year — a move that could be the first of its kind in the United States.

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