Why is it that stolen phones are of any value? Why can't the service providers just be given a list of phones that are stolen and then not allow them to talk to their systems? There must be some way for the networks to know which phones are connecting to them regardless of the number or account assigned to the specific phone. Every specific device surely has some type of ID that is permanently assigned to it that the network can ID and then simply ignore if it is listed as stolen. Someone steals phone ID 123456 from a store, locker room, etc. The phone is reported stolen. How hard could it be for the service providers to simply tell their equipment not to allow phone ID 123456 to connect to the system?