Warning about burglars using electronic devices to disable WiFi in homes

N.J. Burkett Image
Friday, June 14, 2024
Burglars using wifi jammers to disable alarm systems, rob homes
N.J. Burkett has more on the investigation into the wifi jammer burglaries in New Jersey.

FLORHAM PARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- The thieves spent days staking out one New Jersey neighborhood, watching who comes and goes - and when. Then, they would flip on a bizarre-looking device and knock out a home's wireless alarm system before breaking in to steal money and jewelry.

It happened just this week to a resident in Florham Park.

"He was in his house, and the suspect came up and forced his way into the resident's home," said NJ Police Lieutenant Brian Ford.

Lt. Ford says the victim tried to call 911, but his cellphone had no signal.

"He was also unable to use his phone to call for help, which resorted to him running out of his house and getting a passerby, fortunately to call for him," Ford added.

The thief was scared off and the resident was not injured, but it's a growing crime nationwide. The device, known as a 'WiFi jammer' sends a powerful pulse that temporarily disables wireless devices.

"Yeah it also disrupts cell signals - anything that uses wireless communications it'll disrupt 100 percent," said Ford.

Earlier this year, the LAPD warned residents in Southern California.

"It's pretty sophisticated. They have spotter vehicles ahead of time that kind of watch the area. People that watch the house, people that are waiting on a neighboring block or a few houses down - the getaway car," adds Ford.

Roni Parlin has lived in Florham Park for more than 40 years.

"If they are disabling our equipment in the house, our WiFi that enables us to be able to call 911, where does that leave us? It's really, really scary," Parlin says.

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