When former St. Louis University volleyball standout Megan Boken was murdered in late August, the determining motive was robbery. Two 18-year-old suspects are in custody. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the target of the suspects was Boken's cell phone . Crimes rates involving the theft of cell phones have risen while robberies of more traditional items have fallen since 2005.
* Police told the Post-Dispatch a phone similar to Boken's, an iPhone 4s, can fetch as much as $200 over the Internet. Her model included a SIM card with AT&T service. The SIM card can be replaced even though the rest of the phone still works.
* TechCrunch.com reports the retail price of a new iPhone 4s was dropped to $99 now that the iPhone 5 is available. Signing a two-year contract will get iPhone 4 users a free phone.
* Boken was on her iPhone when Keith Esters allegedly approached her and demanded she give up her device. When she resisted, police allege Esters shot her twice. Another young man who served as a getaway driver was also arrested.
* In St. Louis, robberies involving the theft of cell phones is up 33 percent from 2005. Cases in which a phone was the only thing taken are up 43 percent in the same span.
* ABC News reported Friday that cell phone theft is on the rise in major cities across the United States, not just St. Louis. The national news outlet cited Federal Communications Commission statistics that reveal up to 40 percent of robberies in major cities such as Washington and New York involve cell phones.
* In another case, Las Vegas police investigated two rings of cell phone thieves in early September. Crimes often start with younger people asking to borrow a cell phone and then simply running off with the device. In Boken's case, the alleged perpetrator decided to do something much more drastic.
* Cell phone carriers are working with federal officials to create a database of stolen devices. When customers report cell phones lost or stolen, a carrier can render the phone useless to whoever tries to tamper with it.
* St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom told the Post-Dispatch the national database can't come soon enough. He told the media outlet, "There is a huge underground market for the resale of cell phones."
* Investigators found Boken's cell phone on the street, just outside her driver's side car door. It was the only thing taken, yet the theft was abandoned because apparently the perpetrator couldn't access the phone. The young woman's father has the phone now as it sits on a box on his dining room table in Illinois.
* The St. Louis Post-Dispatch posted tips for customers who have their cell phone stolen. GPS programs can locate the device. Many apps and programs can also lock the cell phone remotely. Reporting the theft immediately is often the best thing to do so the carrier can prevent charges being accrued by an unauthorized user.
William Browning, a lifelong Missouri resident, writes about local and state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Born in St. Louis, Browning earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He currently resides in Branson.