MERRICK - There's a new push to make smartphone manufacturers add "kill switches" to their devices to make them less desirable to thieves.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and several local legislators want to introduce a law that would require phones to have a switch that permanently disables stolen phones. The idea aims to remove the incentive to steal phones by rendering them useless after they've been snatched.

Schneiderman says one in three robberies in the U.S. involves a cellphone.

NYPD Commission William Bratton warns that service carriers wouldn't be pleased if manufacturers were compelled to add kill switches. He says it would cut into profits from anti-theft insurance.

In the meantime, experts say phone owners can protect themselves by adding strong passwords to their phones and backing up their data on a computer.