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Key Theft Puts Des Moines Properties at Risk

All it took was an unlocked truck parked in a fast-food lot for a thief to gain access to city properties across the entire city of Des Moines, IA.

Late last year, a city employee stopped at a fast-food restaurant for lunch, leaving a set of city keys in his unlocked truck. Someone then opened the vehicle doors and stole the employee’s lunchbox with the set of keys inside, giving the thief access to several locks around the city. Just a few days later, the city’s softball park was broken into, though it wasn’t confirmed if the two incidents were related.

With the loss of these keys, the city faced the large cost of re-keying locks and replacing keys. The city can help prevent future incidents and unwanted spending by using an electronic key management system.

In the system, keys are securely locked away in electronic steel drawers that can only be accessed using a fingerprint, password or key fob. The system provides a complete overview of key activity, which allows managers to determine which employee has been using a particular key. If an incident occurs in which a key is lost or stolen, management can immediately determine who the responsible employee was and take action.

In addition, the system activity can be viewed on the web in case managers are not on-site and are unable to physically log in to the system.

Click here for another example of how implementing access levels could have helped keep employees accountable and reduce theft. 

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