Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Apartment Keys Stolen By Resident

Thief entering apartment.The purpose of securing things behind lock and key is to ensure that only authorized users can access them. But what happens when those keys are stolen?

Over the course of a year, an apartment complex resident managed to obtain and duplicate 150 keys and then return the originals where he found them. Using the duplicates, the man entered tenants’ apartments when he knew they weren't there to steal and then sell their valuable items. Though the thief was eventually caught, the apartment complex is now liable to replace 150 locks, which can be extremely costly.

Keep your keys secure with an electronic key control system that protects your complex’s keys in a steel cabinet or drawer. By automating the key tracking process, you can enforce authorization methods such as scanning a fingerprint and/or entering a password. When a key is checked out, a transaction is logged and recorded in reports so you can track exactly who checks out keys and when.

By securing all keys in an electronic key control system, you can prevent them from getting into the wrong hands, and also increase your tenants’ safety and peace of mind.

For more information read “The Everyday Advantages of Apartment Key Control.”

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Why Reports Are Important to Key Security

KeyTrak reports
Managers can’t always stay in their offices to monitor key transactions. Electronic key control systems offer features that allow administrators to set up remote web access to view specialized system reports and perform administrative functions. To aid the report process, administrators can also be set up to receive email and text alerts while they are away from their systems.

With web access, system administrators can view detailed reporting. Some of these include work order status and key transaction history. The email and text alert option notifies administrators of system misuse, when an unauthorized key is taken, if a key is returned by a user other than the one who checked it out, or if keys are not returned within their assigned time frame.

With remote access to automated reports, you can regularly keep up with your key activity. It is important to take advantage of the reports that are generated from the key control systems because they provide a 100 percent automatic verifiable audit trail. Knowing what your employees are doing will give you the opportunity to prevent a security breach as well as provide peace of mind.

Once you have a key control system, it is crucial to take the steps to audit these reports to make sure your employees are accountable. If you would like to read more about what types of reports to look into, read “The Top Four Key Control Reports You Should Be Running.”

Friday, January 15, 2016

Thieves Smash Lockboxes While Stealing Four Cars From Dealership

Thief smashes car window
When Marvin Motors' existing key control practice didn't stop the theft of four cars from its lot, it sent the Kissimmee, FL, dealership scrambling for a new way to keep their keys out of thieves' hands.

The dealership had its window-mounted lockboxes targeted twice in the span of a few months. The first time it happened, the thief was caught in the act and local authorities recommended that the dealership stop using the lockboxes. However the lockboxes remained, and the second time they were targeted, thieves made off with two BMWs, a Lexus and a Cadillac after breaking the lockboxes free of their mounts and smashing them to gain access to the keys.

With the thefts, Marvin Motors joined a growing list of dealerships that have learned that their existing key control practices weren't enough to stop aggressive thieves. Keys should be stored away from the cars, preferably in an electronic key control system that secures the keys in tamper-proof cabinets or drawers.

An electronic key control system should only be accessed by approved users by inputting a computer password and/or scanning a fingerprint. If a key isn't returned to a drawer in a timely manner, an electronic key control system should be able to alert management via text message, email notification or an audible alarm so that you can react quickly to a potential theft. Remote access capability is an added layer of security, as it allows you to see your system's activity even when you're not at the dealership.

When it comes to keeping your assets secure, are you doing enough to keep control of your keys?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Serial Burglar Targets Former Employers

A North Dakota man took advantage of not just one, but two former employers during the months of October and November this year. A search of the suspect’s home uncovered nine vehicle keys belonging to the fleet of one former employer, an oilfield service company. Police also recovered 200 keys to apartment units and mailboxes, 38 garage door openers, several master keys to the facility and the key-making machine of his other former employer, an apartment complex.

The oilfield service company caught the burglar on surveillance footage, where he first made off with various tools. He then went to the location where the company fleet keys were kept and drove a fleet vehicle off the property. The burglar’s movements avoiding cameras led police to believe that it could be a former employee. This hunch eventually led to his arrest and the discovery of the apartment keys that had been reported stolen several weeks earlier.

The businesses that this disgruntled employee robbed are very different from each other, yet suffered from the same problem: Their unsecured keys were easy to grab. They also had very different consequences as a result of their unsecured keys. The oilfield service company lost thousands of dollars worth of property, and the apartment complex compromised the safety and well-being of their tenants. Both of these situations could have been avoided with the help of an electronic key control system.

This former employee would have thought twice about stealing equipment and keys had he known there were electronic key control systems in place. These systems can restrict certain employees’ access (e.g. the facility custodian doesn't need access to vehicle keys), and they can also allow you to remove access once an employee has been terminated.

Beyond that, electronic key control systems can be set to send alerts to your computer or phone and sound an audible alarm when keys are requested or removed without authorization. Not only does this system help keep keys safe, it also helps organize keys and keep authorized users accountable for returning keys, cutting down on key loss.

Would your business benefit from utilizing an electronic key control system?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Jewel Thievery: Why Employee Accountability Is Crucial

Stolen jewelry piecesImagine this scenario: You are the owner of a jewelry store, and you've just walked in to find that items in your inventory worth several thousands of dollars have gone missing — but you have no way to figure out who stole the items.

Now imagine the steps you could have taken to secure your inventory. Jewelry store owners and managers need to ensure their items are locked away and tightly secured behind authorized access levels. Otherwise, crimes such as theft can happen.

An employee stole $56,000 worth of jewelry from RamZs Emporium and then pawned it for cash. It was that employee’s responsibility to place all incoming jewelry into inventory and organize it in the showcases, which gave her full access to the entire inventory. When the opportunity to steal jewelry presented itself, she took advantage of it.

Another employee at Kay Jewelers stole an $8,000 Neil Lane ring from the business and tried reselling it to another jeweler in the area. Fortunately an employee there recognized that it came from Kay Jewelers since it still had the tag. Had the employee at the other jeweler not noticed, the Kay employee would have gotten away with it.

At Zales Jewelry, an employee stole over $70,000 worth of jewelry and then sold the items to various pawn shops in the area. No one realized the items were missing until an internal audit was done months later.

These stories all illustrate crucial security lessons. It is vital to keep a verifiable record when it comes to securing expensive items. Enforcing authorization for the keys to the jewelry cabinets lessens the chance of internal theft as well as provides auditable records of the last person to access an item.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Assisted Living: Are You Keeping Your Residents Safe?

Thief with keysWilfred Matthews, a former employee at an Upper West Side assisted living home gained control of a master key to resident rooms. Taking advantage of complete and unrestricted access to the building, Matthews brutally beat and strangled a 95-year-old man who lived in the home.

An electronic key control system could have prevented Matthews from gaining unauthorized access to the master key. With an electronic key control system, a password and optional fingerprint is required, which provides a verifiable record of those who check out a key. If users are aware their activity is being traced, they are less likely to use a key with malicious intent.

With an electronic control system, you can:
  • Increase resident safety
  • Reduce liability
  • Gain greater control
Provide your residents with peace of mind and security. An electronic key management system provides solutions to help manage key security as well as help reduce risk, improve security and optimize operations for any facility. It is vital you take the right security measures to protect both your property and residents.

In addition to securing your facility and providing your residents with safety, read about what property owners should look for here.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Is Your Dealership Prepared for the Holiday Season?

Couple car shopping
Sales in the auto industry are notably robust during the holiday season. Dealers often offer hefty perks during this time of year, which entices consumers to purchase.

Nationwide, analysts predict that more than 17 million vehicles will be sold in the U.S. this year, which would make 2015 the best year for new vehicle sales in at least a decade.

Eighty three percent of buyers do research online before buying a car. By the time they arrive at your dealership they know exactly what they want, and they want it quickly. In fact, when purchasing a vehicle, the biggest frustration a consumer faces is spending too much time on the process.

If your dealership doesn't have a process to alleviate this frustration, consider an application that allows you to monitor your vehicle inventory and track vehicle activity on your lot right from your electronic key control system when you check out keys. Some even provide detailed information on your vehicles, such as fuel level, battery voltage, mileage and more.

This will reduce the amount of time you spend searching for the car on your lot and ensure that the vehicle is ready to be test driven at any moment, which will ultimately increase your customers’ satisfaction.

Benefits:

  • View vehicle activity from your system, iPhone or iPad.
  • Identify vehicles on your lot that need attention.
  • Improve employee productivity.
  • Reduce your dealership expenses.

With this type of system that allows you to monitor your inventory, you can make sure every vehicle on your lot is prepared for a test drive. When the rush of customers makes it to your dealership this holiday season, will you be prepared?