Raiders block alarms and telephone signals before targeting homes

CRIME gangs are using high-tech devices to completely disable monitored home alarm systems.

Gardai have discovered that thieves are blocking burglary alarms and phone signals before carrying out raids on residential homes.

Burglars are using electronic devices known as 'jammers', which allow them to cut off alarm and phone signals.

One jamming device recently seized by gardai had the power to block monitored alarm systems throughout an entire estate.

The news is set to put families and communities on high alert with gardai attempting to deal with a "burglary epidemic" across the capital.

The Herald revealed earlier this month that burglaries had reached unprecedented levels with garda stations across the country reporting sharp rises in break-ins.

Officers believe the increase is partly down to the greater use of 'jamming' technology by thieves.

Jamming devices work by interrupting the signal emitted from alarm systems -- meaning burglaries can break into homes, cars and businesses without being detected.


They also prevent bystanders from calling the emergency services on their mobiles.

It is understood that one device recently seized had the power to knock out an entire housing estate.

Alarm company Eircom Phonewatch said it had been made aware of dangers of the jamming technology but had received no reports of it being used.

A company spokesperson said: "We constantly review the technologies used with our alarms, both with our suppliers and with industry."