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Residents in Ohio Town find key fobs and garage doors are not working

Photo: Al Behrman (AP)

For some weeks, citizens of North Olmstead, Ohio, have been a small town a few miles west of a NASA research center – were plagued by a mysterious force that had disabled their garage openers and car key tags. After many attempts by amateurs and experienced technicians to determine the cause of the problem, the problem was solved.

According to the New York Times, representatives of North Olmstead first received reports on the problem at the end of April. Since then, more than a dozen residents of the city and neighboring Fairview Park have informed authorities that they can not use garage door openers and key fobs.

WKYC, a local ABC subsidiary, hired a retired engineer to investigate the area with a spectrum analyzer, without success. According to WKYC, the company Spectrum Cable, AT & T and the local electricity utility FirstEnergy tried to find out the cause of the problem.

"First, the power was turned off at the points where the highest levels of spurious radio frequencies were detected," said FirstEnergy spokesman Chris Eck of The New York Times. However, the frequency did not decrease.

On Saturday, city councilor Chris Glassburn alerted the public that the root of the mysterious incidence had been found. It came from the home of a local inventor.

"He has a fascination for electronics," Glassburn told the Times. The man had built a device that would alert him when someone was in his basement as he approached his property.

"The way he designed it, it has persistently spent a 315 megahertz signal," Glassburn told the Times, which pointed out that 315 megahertz is the frequency that many garage door openers and autofibers use. It was also battery operated, so turning off the power supply in the neighborhood had no effect.

The City Council would not divulge the identity of the man because he has special needs. "There were no malicious intentions of the device," Glassburn told the Times.

The man did not know that his device caused so many headaches in his neighborhood. But Glassburn and a volunteer electrician finally hooked up to his house and knocked on his door to inform him that he had been causing widespread disruption for weeks.

The man removed the battery and life in North Olmstead returned to normal.

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