Master 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."