Your key box may be more vulnerable than you think!

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty


At least that's what our key boxes SHOULD read...


I had never thought twice about the strength and design of the mls key boxes we use. I would assume that realtors across the country use the same thing, but here in suburban Seattle we use the typical electronic key box with the little back holding cartridge that pops out of the bottom. They're pretty heavy and seem sturdy enough to protect the key inside, but apparently that is not the case.

Even though we hardly hear about them, home burglaries are not uncommon (especially with the current economic conditions). A large number of model homes in the area have been broken in to and have been stripped of EVERYTHING from the staging items to the appliances. From what I've been told, the key boxes have been broken open in many of these cases so the thieves do not need to force their way in at all. 

Last friday night, a burglar broke in to the model home at a development I have listed. The home is 2,335 square feet and is FULLY FURNISHED with additional staging decorations as well as the fancy stainless steel appliances.

Here is the bizzare part...

The thieves did not vandalize a thing, they did not make a mess and they stole only three items. An inexpensive mirror, an inexpensive picture and a coffee pot. 

Can you say "what the..."???

The key box is missing obviously as they took it with them, but I am STILL scratching my head as to why they took the risk for such random (and inexpensive) items!

Any ideas?


Comments (11)

Bob Foster
Century 21 Lanthorn R. E. Ltd. Belleville, Ontario - Belleville, ON

I'm not sure, Peter. Seems bizzarre. I think there was a similar post recently, wish I could point you to it, but it was the same sort of situation.

Apr 15, 2009 03:27 PM
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Peter, I'm sorry to hear that houses are getting burglarized -- sounds like your burglars might have gotten spooked, and left before the truck was full?

Apr 15, 2009 03:28 PM
Brian Brumpton
Keller Williams Boise - Boise, ID
Boise Idaho Real Estate

Hmm...I'd have to agree with Mary they may have been spooked.  The large number of vacant homes makes it easy picking for bad guys.  I had someone steal the furnace out of one of my listings a while back.  Who takes a furnace? 

Apr 15, 2009 03:32 PM
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate

Hi Peter - As my son would say, "Id explain it if I could."  Weirddddddd!

Apr 15, 2009 03:34 PM
Ray & Elaine Fischer
(828) & (828) - Asheville, NC

to me it doesn't sound like their or he or she is a professional. either homeless, or kids... if you ask me........

Apr 15, 2009 03:39 PM
Nate Rowe
Oakstone Properties, Homes in Richmond VA - Richmond, VA
Realtor, Homes in Richmond VA

That is crazy.  I woudl have to agree with them getting spooked also.  I hope they catch them.  I wish you the best.

Apr 15, 2009 03:40 PM
Peter Mann
Keller Williams Realty - Bellevue, WA
Peter Mann Seattle-Bellevue Real Estate Agent

Thank you all for your comments :-) As for the furnace, that is definitely weird. Maybe they were cold at home and thought they could just hook it right up in their living room :-) Criminals are not the smartest people in the world :-)

Apr 15, 2009 03:40 PM
Renee L. Norton
Birmingham, AL

Peter - I am sorry to hear what happened to your listing.  I am constantly amazed at the strange things people will do! 

Apr 15, 2009 03:40 PM
Judy Schneider
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA

Very Strange Peter,

I am surprised to hear this I have always thought of the Lock Boxes were very secure! It is very strange that they didn't take more. Did they take the key? Maybe they intended on coming back, Or they thoght someone had noticed them?

Apr 15, 2009 03:45 PM
Peter Mann
Keller Williams Realty - Bellevue, WA
Peter Mann Seattle-Bellevue Real Estate Agent

I always thought they were secure as well. I had heard about people breaking in to them, but always figured it was an inside job by some shady realtor. Anything is possible these days. And yes, they took the key. Since then, we have swapped out the locks, added motion detector lights, installed a more secure application for the box to be hooked to and had ADT put a security system in. None of which will prevent a determined thief, but at least it should slow them down a little.

Apr 15, 2009 03:53 PM
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

I thought the electronic key boxes were safe until I saw someone get into one in less than 10 seconds without a key at a demonstration.  Truth is - any lock or security system won't keep a true pro out.

Apr 15, 2009 04:08 PM