Premier League footballers arm WAGS with alarms disguised as iPods
Premier League footballers are arming their wives and girlfriends with alarms disguised as iPods to protect them from potential kidnappers and robbers.
Stars at Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton are among those stepping up security after they were warned that criminal gangs are increasingly targeting their families.
Just last month, in events that shocked football, mafia mobsters threatened to snatch the wife and child of United's Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov unless he handed over £500,000.
The 28-year-old was forced to strike a deal with the kidnappers before fleeing the Bulgarian capital Sofia with wife Elena and their newborn child Dea.
And in September, Everton star Phil Jagielka was confronted by knife-wielding robbers in his home and had to hand over watches and the keys to his Range Rover.
The panic alarm which players are buying is designed to look like an MP3 music player and works using global positioning technology to track where a person is at all times.
It is fitted with a panic button which sends a signal to a call centre manned 24 hours a day by security. They can tell where a person is, alert the police and the footballer - and can even listen to what is happening.
The firm behind the alarm, the Sentinel Personal Guardian, made a presentation to Everton players last week, and have already visited Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool, Blackburn, Bolton and West Ham.
Berbatov is among several United players thought to be interested in buying the device, which costs £499 with a £100 annual subscription.
Others include Darren Fletcher, whose fianceé Hayley Grice had a knife held to her throat by raiders at their Manchester home four months ago.
A United source said: "What happened to Dimitar left many of the United players worried for the safety of their family. These alarms give them a little peace of mind."
Footballers in the North-West have been particularly hit by raiders, where highprofile victims include Steven Gerrard, Peter Crouch and Roque Santa Cruz.here
i think this is a really good idea the amount of attacks that have happened especially in the north west has been really crazy ://.