How to wake the dead with anti-mugging device

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The Independent US

Residents of Manhattan's East 77th St will need to take extra care when they hit the remote button on their car keys to unlock their BMWs and Cadillacs. Because if they press the wrong button, all hell will break loose. And there will be no escaping the humiliation.

Residents of Manhattan's East 77th St will need to take extra care when they hit the remote button on their car keys to unlock their BMWs and Cadillacs. Because if they press the wrong button, all hell will break loose. And there will be no escaping the humiliation.

Last week, denizens of the block between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, one of the wealthiest, and least crime-ridden, in New York, learnt of a new security system they will soon share. It is meant to repel intruders, but risks becoming a noisy public nuisance.

The system sounds a smart idea. Everyone is to be given a key chain with a panic button. If they are attacked on the block, they press it with their thumb, and their attacker will be in for a fright. Sirens and strobe lights will go off all around. Loudspeakers on rooftops will blare: "Intruder on the block. Call the police."

An alarm will sound in the nearest police station. Neighbours will be expected to go to their windows, get a description of the assailant and call the emergency services.

But plenty in the area are far from thrilled, especially if they live not in the block but near it. They fear being woken by a cacophony of light and sound every night, even if no criminal is in the area. "It is hard enough with the car alarms," said Natalia Kissel of nearby 80th St.

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