Friday, May 15, 2015

Small Dealership Has Entire Inventory of Keys Stolen

Used cars
A small used car dealership owner in Grand Island, NE woke up to one of the worst Christmas gifts imaginable one morning late in December. During the night, thieves had accessed the dealership through an unlocked bathroom window and stolen every set of keys — 42 in total — before taking a 2001 Ford Taurus and a 2001 Dodge Ram pickup from the lot.

The thieves returned the next night and took a 1997 GMC pickup. Within a week, all three vehicles were recovered along with half of the stolen keys, but the dealership still faced the liability and inconvenience of not having the keys to the rest of its inventory. Without the keys, the dealership was limited on what vehicles it could sell from its lot.

An electronic key control system could have not only kept the dealership's vehicles safe but also given the owner the peace of mind that he would be able to continue business as usual in the event of an attempted robbery.

To keep keys out of the wrong hands, dealerships should consider using an electronic key control system that uses secure drawers that can only be accessed by approved users via a password, biometric fingerprint scanner or key fob.

Ideally, the system should also have a full range of reports as well as the option for authorized users to monitor the system anywhere, anytime using a standard Internet connection. This capability allows users to see when keys were checked out and who took them even when they're not at the machine.

Learn more about keeping your dealership's assets secure from our post "Tighten Your Dealership's Key Control to Help Secure Your Vehicles."

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Burglary Ring Targets Property Offices for Master Keys

Home robberyMaster keys are golden tickets to thieves. Whether at hotels or apartment complexes, thieves have repeatedly targeted master keys to gain access to multiple rooms, apartments or condos.

A group of thieves had those lucrative prospects in mind when they broke into several apartment and condo offices around Tacoma, WA to steal the properties' master keys and use them to access residents' homes and mailboxes throughout the first three months of 2015.

The thieves also stole rent checks from the offices along with personal documents, tax returns, credit cards, checks, driver's licenses and bank statements from the homes and apartments. Police had identified more than 50 victims at the time of making three arrests connected with the burglaries in early April and said the group was responsible for hundreds of robberies.

Keep your master keys safe with an electronic key control system that protects your property's keys in a secure drawer or cabinet. This allows you to enforce authorization methods, such as providing a password or a fingerprint, to access keys. Every transaction by the user should be logged and recorded in reports so you know exactly who has checked out keys and when they took them.

As an extra layer of security, consider a system with a built-in or attachable camera that can take pictures or record videos of anybody attempting to access the system. This will enforce accountability on authorized users while simultaneously discouraging unauthorized access.

An electronic key management system can also help you with day-to-day functions in your property's office such as tracking packages, prioritizing and tracking work orders and entering prospect and resident data into your records.

An electronic key control system can do more than keep thieves at bay. To learn more, read our post "The Everyday Advantages of Apartment Key Control."

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Police Recover Three Stolen Cars After Dealership Break-in

When a sheriff's deputy discovered shattered glass and several key fobs scattered on the floor of an Oregon dealership in March, it was a nightmare scenario for Buick GMC of Beaverton. Three cars and several key fobs had been stolen.

Pegboard with keysA deputy pulled over a 2015 GMC Yukon for a suspected DUI the morning after the theft and found several key fobs and a dealership sales sticker in the vehicle.

The discovery led to the investigation of the dealership and the realization that the car had been stolen along with a 2014 Jeep Cherokee and a 2015 Chrysler 300. The Cherokee was recovered in another suspected DUI stop the same morning and the 300 was soon found abandoned at a construction site.

Limit your liability and keep your keys from falling into the wrong hands during a break-in by implementing a secure method of key control, such as an electronic system.

An electronic key control system allows keys to be tagged and added to secure drawers or cabinets as soon as the vehicles arrive on the lot. Access can be controlled with computer passcodes, a biometric fingerprint scanner and/or a proximity card reader. Alerts can be sent immediately to a cell phone or email address if there is an unauthorized attempt to access the keys.

Find out more ways you can keep track of your keys with an electronic key control system from our post "Do You Know Where Your Keys Are?"

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

[INFOGRAPHIC] Common Password Mistakes

Could a hacker figure out your employees' passwords? Just as it's vital to create secure passwords online to protect their personal information, it's important to create a secure password for your business systems accounts. In the infographic below, GCFLearnFree.org has put together a list of the most common password mistakes people make.


By creating secure passwords, you can reduce the likelihood of unauthorized users accessing your accounts. To make hackers' jobs even harder, consider combining passwords with an additional login method, such as biometric fingerprint authentication. How do you encourage your staff to avoid password pitfalls? Let us know in the comments below!

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Top Four Key Control Reports You Should Be Running

Report buttonNow that you have wisely implemented an electronic key management system to securely store your business's keys, it’s time to take full advantage of your investment.

Below are four of the most important reports you should be running on a regular basis.

Transaction Report


What it is: This report lists the details of each transaction performed in the system. The report shows who took which keys, why the keys were checked out, what time the keys were removed and if/when they have been returned.

Why you need it: With a verifiable real-time audit trail, it's easy for management to hold employees accountable.

Checkout Report


What it is: This report displays a list of all keys checked out, as well as the reason for the checkout.

Why you need it: This report is useful for eliminating end-of-day worry by detailing which keys are currently checked out by each user.

Overdue Report


What it is: This report includes a list of all keys that have been issued to employees and are overdue for return.

Why you need it: It's essential for management to see which keys are missing and should have already been returned.

Access Level Report


What it is: This report displays a list of authorized users and their access level assignments.

Why you need it: This report helps management monitor their employees’ access to keys of various levels of importance.

Are there other reports that you use to make the most of your electronic key management system? Sound off in the comments!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tighten Your Dealership's Key Control to Help Secure Your Vehicles

Every business owner dreads the news that their business has been burglarized. Unfortunately one dealership owner in Roscommon County, MI received this news when two brothers committed back-to-back burglaries at his used car dealership.

lot of carsThe boys broke into the dealership and gained access to keys, which enabled them to steal several vehicles and take them for joyrides. After repeatedly crashing the cars into each other, the younger brother got trapped underneath one of the cars and had to be airlifted to a hospital for treatment.

The dealership could have prevented the thefts and reduced liability with stronger key control procedures. Keys should be stored in a secure cabinet or drawers, preferably electronic, so dealers can control who has access to keys. By setting up access levels, selecting authorized users and implementing key alerts, dealers can tighten the security of their assets while creating a more organized environment.

To determine whether or not you need to update your key control, read our post “Are You Adequately Securing Your Dealership's Keys?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Stolen Keys Lead to a Series of Police Chases

Car chase
A set of stolen keys has been a thorn in the Wentzville, MO police department's side for weeks after the car the keys belonged to has been involved in at least six police chases since the theft.

The suspect entered Century Dodge Chrysler Jeep on February 14 and asked to test drive a gray 2009 Pontiac G8. After a brief wait, the suspect took the keys and stole the car off the lot.

To avoid key thefts, it's important to maintain control of your dealership's keys at all times. An electronic key control system can limit key access to only authorized users, requiring employees to log in by entering a passcode, swiping a proximity card or using a biometric fingerprint scanner. This will keep unauthorized users, even within your company, from reaching keys that they shouldn't have access to and will keep your assets safe.

Once the key is beyond the security of its drawer, text and email alerts give you an added level of protection and can improve your response time to a theft. If a key isn't returned to the drawer within a specified window of time, you will receive an alert on your phone or computer.

Want to know more about protecting your lot? Here are some things we learned from dealership vehicle thefts in 2014.