Illegal Use of Radios for Criminal Activities

The color coded "Dot" stickers are used by manufacturers and distributors to indicate the frequency of otherwise identical hand held radios.  Retail stores sell these radios, including Radio Shack.  Many legal applications exist, such as communications on construction sites, inside large stores and by families on vacation.  However, some criminal groups are using these readily available radios to coordinate their criminal activities.

"Dot" Frequency Table

 Channel Frequency, MHz
Red Dot 151.625
Blue Dot 154.570
Green Dot 154.600
Purple Dot 151.955
Yellow Dot 464.550
Brown Dot 464.500
"J" Dot 467.7625
"K" Dot 467.8125
Silver Star 467.8500
Gold Star 467.8750
Red Star 467.9000
Blue Star 467.9250


During October 2001, a Raleigh, North Carolina newspaper reported that another criminal gang had performed over 40 successful robberies in North Carolina and Virginia while using walkie-talkies to coordinate their robberies.

In early 2002, a gang of 6 criminals was apprehended in Garland just prior to executing a well planned robbery of a restaurant. Their plans were thwarted because they were overheard planning and coordinating the robbery on 154.570 MHz, one of the "dot" frequencies.

These groups were using hand held units to communicate between robbers, look-outs and get-away car drivers.  It is likely that many more criminal gangs have used these radios during criminal activities without detection.

According to law enforcement officials, criminals are using other frequencies too.  Communications supporting illegal activities occurs over cellular telephones and other frequencies.  Some  of these frequencies are listed at the following URLs:

There is no way of knowing how much illegal use is occurring, but you may want to program all of these frequencies into your table top scanner, just in case you might be able to intercept criminals committing crimes. 

These frequencies are also used for legitimate purposes by businesses and individuals, including large retail stores, hotels, motels, construction companies, drive-through fast food establishments, hikers and campers.


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Last revised: January 13, 2007