NEW ORLEANS — A New Orleans woman got quite the surprise when she checked her home security system for video of an attempted car burglary in her driveway.
Kim Irons was unloading groceries in her driveway in the Bancroft Park neighborhood when she noticed an SUV pull up in front of her house.
She says a young man got out and approached the passenger side of her vehicle.
“I said, hello, excuse me, excuse me, hello and then I noticed him peering into my car more, I said get away from my car,” Irons said.
Irons says she then started yelling and the man then crept back to his car. He sped off with another man behind the wheel.
Irons and her husband checked their doorbell camera for video of the encounter.
“We looked back at our Ring app and during that time period it was completely backed out,” Irons said.
The wireless camera was somehow disabled while the men were in front of Iron’s home.
Cyber expert George Schiaffino says they may have used some sort of frequency jammer to interrupt the security system.
“It was more than likely that the internet did not go out and there was not some unique situation that killed the wireless signal throughout the entire neighborhood, that someone purposely jammed the signal,” Schiaffino said.
Schiaffino admits it’s not difficult to jam security cameras and alarm systems that rely on a home’s WiFi signal to work.
“You can simply buy a device off the internet that will plug into your phone or even just work as a remote button to jam a wireless signal and just shut off the cameras,” he said.
Irons says the device not only knocked out her wireless signal, but it also jammed the WiFi of some of her neighbors.
“We called our next door neighbor and he said you know what, you’re not going to believe this, but my cameras are black too," she said. "Then we went to our other neighbor. They said my internet’s out. We put two and two together and we said you know what, they must have some kind of device that’s knocking out either our wireless internet or the app itself. That was kind of shocking and disturbing."
A security camera did capture the same men on video approaching another vehicle a few blocks away.
They appeared to be driving a black, newer model, midsize Toyota SUV.
It is a federal crime to jam a wireless internet signal.
Cyber experts recommend you hard wire your security cameras and alarm system if you can.
Kim Irons tells us that’s exactly what her family plans to do.