Car Locks Jam In Store Parking Lot

The NBC 10 investigators love a mystery. So when a viewer e-mailed about a bizarre security problem in a local shopping center parking lot, it peaked some interest.

Many people lock and unlock a car by remote and don't even give it a second though unless it doesn't work.

"Nothing, nothing, nothing, lock it, nothing," one person said.

It only happens in a specific location.

It doesn't work. I'm pressing," another person said.

The mystery problem repeatedly occurs outside the Kohl's Store in Royersford.

"Weird mystery," one person said.

"I could not believe this," another person said.

Kohl's managers told NBC 10's investigative reporter Lu Ann Cahn they had no idea either.

"It must be the power plant or something," one person suggested.

But nearby Limerick Power Plant officials insist it's not them.

Some people thought maybe it was cell phone tower interference but there aren't any cell towers in the area.

But people told NBC 10 it's been a problem for more than a year.

Some shoppers don't realize you might have to lock your car manually. If not, then the cars are unlocked and unsafe.

One woman reported her laptop was stolen from her car after she thought she locked it.

Police said they couldn't figure it out either. So who do you call?

They're not Ghostbusters. They are radio signal busters.

"I'm an engineer," Reginald Leister said.

"Somewhere in this parking lot there is a big source of radiation, some kind of signal," Bob Rex said.

Leiser and Rex are members of the Pottstown Area Radio Club.

"I built a little antenna," Rex said. "I made it out of copper tubing."

"This device is called a spectrum analyzer," Leister said.

They brought out their gadgets and within seconds they have something.

"There are actually two signals there," Leister said. "It looks like it's coming from the building."

The signals point to the Kohl's. Kohl's said they would look into the issue.

The Federal Communications Commission licenses radio signals, and the radio operators said the fact that some signal is interfering with remote lock signals isn't good.

"The FCC rules are pretty clear on this," Leister said.

"It's probably something broken that's doing this," Rex said.

Rex and Leister said they think the problem is in the anti-shoplifting gates, sensors designed to alarm store security if someone steals something.

However, three days later the car locks worked.

"Now it's working," one person said.

"It works now, thank you," another person said.

Kohl's will only say they're working on it. The FCC said it does sound like something was malfunctioning and it's had similar bizarre cases recently in New York City and Tampa.

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