EDEN – Police say they recovered several electronic “anti-fraud devices” from a local sweepstakes, removing the static that had been disabling key fobs, locks and ignitions on nearby cars for months.
Officials last week removed gadgets designed to prevent gamblers from using cell phones and other electronic devices to manipulate slot machine software from the Lucky Day sweepstakes at 736 S. Van Buren Road, police chief David Lamberth said of Eden.
Currently, investigators are referring to the devices that have separated them from the video game parlor’s popular fish game tables as “anti-fraud devices” until they can confirm that the devices are in fact the “jammers” commonly used for this purpose.
Lucky Day “cooperates with us. They didn’t cause us any problems, ”said Lamberth.
Prior to the move, the police and the owners of the El Parral Mexican restaurant next door at 734 S. Van Buren Road had received numerous complaints from the public.
Restaurant customers, including police officers, said they were consistently unable to use their remote key fobs, locks, and ignition systems near Lucky Day.
Jammers are often discussed on the Internet by players and game system owners to prevent potential bilkers from kidnapping such fish games. They look like glowing aquariums full of fish for quick cash out.
High power jammer prices are listed online between $ 1,000 and $ 3,000 each.
While the use of jammers is viewed by cyber experts as a violation of federal law, the Eden Police Department “is working with the Federal Communications Commission to determine whether any devices we have recovered meet the criteria for jamming “Said Lamberth.
Following the FCC investigation, Eden police will know whether to charge Lucky Day with a crime.
The operation of fish table games is legal in North Carolina as it is viewed as unlike gambling because of its simple luck and is instead viewed as a game of skill and skill.
Customers who want to park in the Mexican restaurant can now rest assured that the electronic interference has stopped, according to Lamberth, who said police tested the remote key fobs and locking systems of their own vehicles after removing the mobile phone jammer and resolving the problem had declared.
“Once these devices are removed, we have no more reports of (key) remote controls not working,” said Lamberth.
Officials also confirmed that cell phones within and around Lucky Day and El Parral were functioning normally even before the anti-cheating hardware was removed, and that customers’ ability to make regular or 911 calls from either facility was never interrupted.
There are no plans to check gaming tables at other Eden sweepstakes parlors, Lamberth said, noting that police have not yet received complaints about similar disruptions involving other sweepstakes companies.
Lucky Day staff could not be reached for comment and a phone number provided for facility was out of order.
Art Ayala, manager of El Parral, was relieved to learn that his customers will no longer have the problems with the mysterious cars. And he wants guests to use the parking lot of the established restaurant that is closest to Lucky Day without hesitation.
“I’m happy for the customers,” said Ayala.