Detectives arrived last summer at a high-rise apartment building in Arlington County, warrant in hand, to nab a suspected pedophile who had traded child pornography online. It was to be a routine, mostly effortless arrest.
But when they pounded on the door, detectives found an elderly woman who, they quickly concluded, had nothing to do with the crime. The real problem was her computer's wireless router, a device sending a signal through her 10-story building and allowing savvy neighbors a free path to the Internet from the privacy of their homes.
Your wireless router can send a signal many yards, easily enough to reach to a neighbor's apartment, and in some cases, to a neighbor's free-standing house.
People who fiddle with antennas (a wok ring can amplify an otherwise too weak signal) can extend the range.
This lady was lucky – the police used common sense.