NJ police warning: Burglars using Wi-Fi jammers to disable home security, 911 calls

Police in one New Jersey town are warning that burglars are using Wi-Fi jamming devices to stop victims from using their cellphones to dial 911 before breaking into homes.

According to Florham Park police, a man was in the basement of his Lincoln Avenue home when he watched someone try to get in on his security camera. But suddenly, the camera wasn’t working.

When the would-be burglar noticed someone was home, he took off. The resident’s cellphone also wasn’t working, police say, so he ran outside, and someone called 911 for him.

Police haven’t caught the suspect, but they’re taking to social media and warning the public that a Wi-Fi jamming device was used.

"It’s like a cell phone blocker," said Robert Siciliano, CEO of Protect Now LLC. "They scramble signals, they make it very difficult for the signal to actually function properly."

Siciliano says Wi-Fi blockers make it very difficult or impossible for a cellularly connected home security system to perform basic functions.

Police in Glendale, California recently dealt with the same crime trend – home security systems interrupted by Wi-Fi blockers. Siciliano says anyone can get their hands on a blocker.

"Online. You know, anyone can buy a Wi-Fi blocker," Siciliano said. "They’re illegal in most states."

In a Facebook post, Florham Park police: "The information regarding this incident is concerning due to the advanced sophistication of criminal activity. The modus operandi of this incident suggests the suspect was part of what has been termed a ‘South American Theft Group.’"

Police are recommending residents consider hardwiring their security systems and have a landline as they keep investigating.