Local Public Radio Station Reports Transmitter Tampering and Equipment Theft
WDFH FM 90.3, the lower Hudson Valley’s only public radio station, recently reported the theft of a piece of test equipment attached to its transmitter in Mount Pleasant. The incident was reported to Town of Mount Pleasant police on June 15, 2011, by Marc Sophos, the station’s founder and executive director.
Mr. Sophos visited the transmitter site on the afternoon of June 15th because the station unexpectedly went off the air the prior evening. Upon arriving at the building that houses the station’s transmitter, he discovered that a wattmeter was missing.
“The device is always plugged into the transmitter. Its removal could easily have knocked the transmitter off the air,” Mr. Sophos told police investigating the theft. Mr. Sophos also explained that tampering with a radio station’s equipment is a federal crime and that he would be contacting the FBI regarding the incident.
The station’s transmitter has been at its current location since 2009. Mr. Sophos told police that the wattmeter, which will cost approximately $500 to replace, was most likely taken by someone with access to the facility which is also visited by employees of several cellular phone companies and other businesses related to telecommunications. “It’s a pretty specialized piece of equipment. Only someone who knows something about radio would even know its purpose and how it is used,” he added.
WDFH is volunteer-operated and non-commercial. It relies on financial contributions from listeners, businesses and foundations to cover operating expenses. Its broadcast signal reaches central and northern Westchester and eastern Rockland. It can also be heard anywhere online.
The station will be hard-pressed to come up with the funds to replace the wattmeter because volunteers are struggling with securing enough contributions to cover bare-bones expenses along with an FCC requirement to upgrade its Emergency Alert System equipment. Anyone with information that might help police secure the return of the wattmeter should contact the Mount Pleasant Police Department at (914) 769-1941 and ask to speak to a detective.
Contributions to help with the cost of replacing the stolen equipment would be appreciated and can be made online at or mailed to WDFH at 21 Brookside Lane, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522.