Police issue warning after hackers use handheld device to break into homes

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 9, 2015)– Police departments around central Indiana are on alert after thieves appear to have found a way to hack into garage doors with the click of a button.

“The criminal element is out there and they are looking for that easy access,” said Whitestown Police Chief Dennis Anderson.

The most recent hack happened in West Lafayette where someone stole the garage codes on at least a dozen homes using a relatively simple device.

“It is a transmitter that is handheld and pointed towards the garage door opener pad,” said Anderson.

Officers say the handheld device steals the garage codes by detecting the signal, then jamming the frequency.

“The device tries to match the code numbers that are currently programmed into your garage,” said Anderson.

The device allows hackers to steal the code and come back when you’re not home. Wireless keys to your house that are easy to fund for cheap online.

“Anytime a thief can get something and they can get into anyones garage or home for $30 that would be concerning to me,” said Precision Door Service of Indianapolis President Joel Belyew.

However, garage door installation and repair experts say homeowners can protect themselves. Many types of garage doors have a lock button on the panel.

“If you press and hold this button the light in the back of this flashes and you know that it is locked. It is just an electronic lock that says I’m not going to accept the remote code, “ said Belyew.

The electronic lock helps to create an extra layer of protection from anyone who may be determined to break in.

“It is always a possibility. People want to get into things, they are going to try to get in the best as they can,” said resident Scott Adams.

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