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Pirate Radio Paralyzes Keyless Entry Systems In Hollywood

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Sharp GF-4646 radio and cassette tape player. Known as 'Ghetto Blasters', sheer size and volume counted for everything. Being seen, and heard, with one was as important as the entertainment provided. In the 1990s, mobile phones assumed a similar role. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)

Sharp GF-4646 radio and cassette tape player. Known as ‘Ghetto Blasters’, sheer size and volume counted for everything. Being seen, and heard, with one was as important as the entertainment provided. In the 1990s, mobile phones assumed a similar role. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)

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South Florida Crime

HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – The next time your keyless entry doesn’t work, don’t check the device’s battery…check your car’s radio.

For months, the keyless entry systems of those who parked near the Hollywood Police Department were rendered useless: they couldn’t unlock their cars or start them. Once the cars were towed to the dealers, the problem miraculously disappeared.

Police have since cracked the case, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

It wasn’t “operator error” – it was radio operator error: an illegal pirate radio station was jamming the signal from keyless entry systems of several makes of cars, including Lexus and Toyota. The man behind the bootleg operation likely had no idea it would lock people out of their cars, police say.

Lynn Jacobson, who lives on Van Buren Street a mile west of police headquarters, was frustrated for months trying to get into her car.

“It was happening every day,” Jacobson told the Sun-Sentinel. “We were getting desperate. It got to where every time I went out to the car I’d say, ‘Please let it open.'”

Read about past cases of pirate radio and find out what charges await the bootleg station’s operator in the full article.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel contributed to this report.)

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