Police did not find one man’s taste in music entertaining, especially since he was playing it over the police radio frequency, interrupting their official communications.
The uncensored rap music could cost the offender up to $30,000 in federal fines if police have their way since the suspect was in violation of federal law when it comes to tampering with official frequencies.
“He’d been haunting us for several weeks,” said McMinnville police detective Todd Rowland of the music which would play from time to time on police frequencies. “Sometimes it would go for hours and hours.”
Rowland said the offender, or offenders, accessed a frequency close to the McMinnville Police Department frequency, but were not on the exact station.
“That made it bleed over,” said Rowland. “When we would key up, we could talk but then it’d go back to the music.”
Rowland said he has no doubt the suspect is doing it intentionally to annoy police.
Officers were able to catch the suspect in the act by methodically tracing the signal. They finally zeroed in on the Lowe’s parking lot where they found the vehicle. Inside the vehicle was the radio being used to invade the police channel.
“It was an amateur radio that was programmed close enough to our channel to bleed over,” Rowland said, noting the radio was seized.
Presently police have not released the name of the prankster pending their decision about how to proceed in prosecuting the case. Rowland said the district attorney’s office is considering the course of action to take.
The prevailing idea is to turn the suspect over to the FCC. Unauthorized use of airwaves is punishable by a fine ranging from $10,000 to $30,000.
“The federal people have a way of getting that money out of you, whether it’s garnishing wages or putting a lean on your property,” Rowland said.