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Public Safety

Navy Issues Statement On Strange Electronic Activity

After San Diego residents along the coastline complained of faulty garage door openers and car alarm technology gone amok, the U.S. Navy issued a statement neither claiming nor denying responsibility, but they did offer an explanation.

Portions of the Navy-issued statement explain that: "Land mobile radio (LMR) systems on many military bases around the country currently use frequencies in the 380-399.9 MHz band, which is often the same frequency range at which some unlicensed consumer devices, such as garage door openers, operate."

Navy officials also said that their licensed military radio systems have priority over the non-licensed consumer devices like remote garage door openers.

Meanwhile, residents from Carlsbad to Coronado are left without the ability to open their garage doors remotely.

Larry Mullen of La Jolla says his garage door remote has not been working since Thursday morning. He is able to open the garage door through the switch on the wall, but his remote control devices are currently useless.

"We open the door, move the car out, get out of the car, go inside, close the garage door, come back around and get back in the car," Mullen said. "It’s a pain in the neck, you know, but what do you do?"

Access Garage Doors serves hundreds of customers in central and north San Diego County, including Mullen. Pat Patton, a spokesman for the company, says at least 30 residents have called about the problem in the last couple of days.

"My garage door is a victim of the same problem," Patton said.

The company has been speaking with the Navy and anticipates it will take up to seven days before the frequencies are operating normally again, Patton said.

He also offered some advice to customers: "Hold the remote as close to the motor head as possible so you can get a reception and just hang in there until this all goes away."

Navy spokesman Brian O'Rourke said it is not definite that Navy operations are responsible for the frequency jam.

"It could be possible, but we don't know for sure that is what's causing the problem," O'Rourke said.