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February 16th started like any typical Friday night. My husband and I decided to stay home, grill chicken and make a salad for dinner. At about 6:45 p.m., we heard some loud rumbling overhead.
We walked onto the back patio, and two police helicopters were overhead — shining lights all over our property, and a recording echoed, “Police. You are under arrest. Stay right there and I won’t shoot you.”
As I looked across the fence, a swarm of armed members of the Phoenix SWAT Team with a few dogs were circling our property. One of the guys said, “Yeah, there’s a jammer right here.” He picked it up. I leaned over the patio and asked, “What’s going on?”
The police told me to go inside
A SWAT member said, “Ma’am, A South American gang is targeting homes to steal from. The jammer says you might have been next. Do we have permission to enter your property?” I said, “Yes!” and then he asked something like, “If we find anyone, will you pursue charges so we can arrest them?” I replied, “Of course!”
I opened the driveway gates to our property and the guest house while Barry tossed the police keys to open the security gates. It turns out that when the gang saw we were home, they likely diverted their attention to the house next door. A house four doors down from us wasn’t so lucky.
The homeowner left at 5 p.m. to have dinner and got a notification his security cameras were offline at 5:05 pm. He thought the internet went down. The gang broke in and took $25,000 in cash and valuables worth $100,000. They were in and out in less than 10 minutes.
How are they getting away with this?
The gang places cellular and Wi-Fi jammers around the homes they’re targeting. This way, security cameras and phones are useless. A Phoenix police officer told me the gang probably noticed nothing was down in our house.
Our home’s security cameras and internet are hard-wired. Even when the thieves tried to jam the Wi-Fi signals, the security camera’s red lights showed they were recording everything. We also still have a landline.
But how frightening is that? Your phone doesn’t work. Your cameras aren’t recording anything. On the upside, the gang doesn’t carry guns. If they get caught, they’ll spend about six months in jail before being extradited back to Chile.
If you’d like to watch the action captured by my security cameras, I showed them during a Kim Komando Today video stream. I am so thankful for our police force.
Nothing is random
The gang thoroughly scopes out homes beforehand. They drive the neighborhood and look up homes on real estate sites to get an idea of where the primary bedroom is located. They look for dogs, too.
It’s not only a problem in Phoenix. This is happening all over the country. A friend was robbed by a similar gang in a guard-gated community in California. Kudos to Phoenix Police — they arrested three members of the gang who were in my neighborhood that night.
Invest in tech
We built our home, so it was easy to install the wiring for the internet and almost everything connected to it for the fastest connection that also won’t be susceptible to a jammer. Of course, you can hardwire after construction, but that’s costly and often unrealistic. Here are some options:
Get your house offline
Check Zillow, Realtor.com and Redfin for photos of your house. The more crooks know about the layout, the better for them. Here’s how to remove those pics.
You’re not done yet. It’s a good idea to blur your house from Google Maps and Apple Maps while you’re at it.
Plus, we’re TikTok tips that pros warn are your plants’ worst nightmare. Andrew has a wild story about getting scammed on a dating app. It’s cold outside, so here are some top tricks for staying warm with your tech. And, as always, listener letters. You won’t believe what one guy called me.
Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.
Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”
Sound like a tech pro, even if you’re not! Award-winning popular host Kim Komando is your secret weapon. Listen on 425+ radio stations or get the podcast. And join over 400,000 people who get her free 5-minute daily email newsletter.
Copyright 2024, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.
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IN TODAY’S NEWSLETTER:
– Natalie Portman says AI could put her out of a job ‘soon’: ‘There’s a good chance’
– Google Gemini backlash exposes comments from employees on Trump, ‘antiracism’ and ‘White privilege’
– Don’t think of our AI future as humans vs. machines. Instead, consider these possibilities
OUT OF A JOB: Natalie Portman has some mixed feelings about artificial intelligence. In her new interview with Vanity Fair for its annual Hollywood issue, the “Star Wars” star was asked if she felt the technology was a threat to her livelihood.
THE WOKE ALPHABET: Resurfaced videos and comments from Google employees have come to light amid backlash to the company’s Gemini artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot.
ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES: The thought of AI replacing human intellect and creativity in the workforce can indeed be unsettling. But, is this fear truly warranted, or are we on the cusp of a collaborative revolution that could amplify human innovation and creativity?
TRASHY ROBOT: Robots are taking over the dirty work of sorting through our trash and turning it into valuable resources. And not just any robots, but smart robots that use artificial intelligence to identify and separate different types of waste with incredible speed and accuracy.
CONSTRUCTION ROBOTS: Monumental’s bricklaying robots are agile, artificial intelligence-powered machines that navigate construction sites like self-driving cars. They work in teams of three. One grabs bricks, another fetches mortar and the third, the star of the show, lays them down with precision.
‘PATRIOT ENTREPRENEURS’: Military leaders have bought into advanced tech that “patriotic entrepreneurs” are inventing, but the Pentagon’s bureaucratic slog has created major challenges to getting those innovations onto the battlefield, according to a defense expert.
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