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4.26.23 – WBTV

Cell-jamming uses devices to interfere with radio or wireless signals.

According to CMPD, thefts have figured out how to evade surveillance cameras in some home break-ins, utilizing technology in the process.

It’s called cell-jamming, and happens when a person uses a device to interfere with radio or wireless signals.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, “the use of a phone-jammer, GPS blocker, or other signal jamming device designed to intentionally block, jam, or interfere with authorized radio communications is a violation of federal law. There are no exemptions for use within a business, classroom, residence, or vehicle.”

Cell-jamming could happen from a device roughly 30 feet from the intended target, or home cameras.

Video from a south Charlotte community shows a suspect creeping through a yard at night – but not all incidents have been captured on camera.

“Whenever you’ve got wireless devices, and whether it’s on the Wi-Fi etc., you know people are going to find a way – how to interfere with it, how do you try to stop something from communicating,” John Shocknesse, VP of Customer Operations for CPI Security, said.

In just a moment, someone can be seen on camera, but with cell-jamming all it takes is one flip of a switch or a button push, and that person disappears, or there’s no record of it.

It’s an issue CMPD said has happened in some south Charlotte home break-ins.

“We have not seen any of that activity, so, it’s something we’re aware of and making sure we have the best technology and the latest technology which is the most important,” Shocknesse said.

WBTV asked him what devices are more susceptible to cell-jamming.

“I think where it starts coming into play is some of the much older wireless devices that don’t have that encryption,” Shocknesse said.

He said newer security systems and surveillance systems have better technology with encryption and are more secure.

“I really don’t think we can underscore enough, just how important having cameras and some onboard recording,” Shocknesse said. “Cameras that we put in there, we’ve got memory devices on them so even if there was an issue, you’re still recording what’s taking place and you can bring that to the police department.”

To add to that advice, he said the best solutions to prevent cell-jamming is by having up-to-date technology with encryption, and a wired device instead of Wi-Fi.

As for preventing home break-ins, following simple tips like maintaining good lighting, turning on alarm systems, and trimming bushes to heights no higher than three feet can be effective.