Floridians love their smartphones, as evidenced by the long lines that form in major cities across the state of the every time Apple releases a new iPhone.

And thieves love those expensive devices too, which is why the Federal Communications Commission is joining forces with police chiefs across the country and wireless company leaders to create a database that tracks stolen phones and blocks them from being used by bad guys. The New York Times reports the groups are meeting this week to draft legislation that would make it a federal crime to tamper with a stolen phone to avoid blocking. Right now police chiefs from New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland are participating.

Let’s hope Florida police chiefs jump in to lend their support for the database as well. After all, it is not hard to find stories about locals having their phones stolen. For example, the Boca Raton Police Department’s Website reveals a tale of a woman who was recently approached by a stranger as she stood in front of an H&R Block office. He said his phone had died and asked to use her iPhone, which he took and ran as soon as she handed it over. Fortunately, cops found him and the phone soon after.

More good news: Florida’s largest carriers, including Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, are working to create programs that would stop anyone using a stolen cell phones from accessing the networks.

What do you say? Have you had your cell phone stolen? Send a message to dvasquez@sunsentinel.com.