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The Key Ring Kid busted but ‘master key’ burglaries continue

Remember this set of keys? Two weeks ago, we reported some eyewitness accounts of an arrest at 15th/Pine’s Braeburn condos of a suspected burglar carrying a massive set of keys. Well, call him the Key Ring Kid because, it turns out, the suspect in this arrest is a juvenile. And because of his age, we can’t tell you much about him other than those keys provided access to area buildings and that his case is moving through the juvenile court system.

SPD also couldn’t tell us much about the keys or where Key Ring made the score or scores required to amass his impressive collection. But some recent police reports of other incidents can shed some light.

For an example of how one might acquire some keys like these, we turn our attention to a police report filed for a November 29 incident in the 1500 block of Boylston. Sometime in the night, an unknown person…

pried open the first floor multi-use storage

room to the apartment building located at 15   Boylston Avenue. The

suspect(s) stole 30 unmarked apartment keys and rent checks from the

 . The building manager was notified by an unidetified tenant

about the theft. The manager,   responded to the scene then called

SPD to investigate.

Officer Stankiewicz and I, Officer Enriquez responded to the scene and

inteviewed Mr.  . The scene was checked for fingerprints. Nothing of

evidentiary value was found.

And here’s an example of how those kinds of keys might be put to use…

On 11/28/2010 I was dispatched at 0046 hours to 1   Melrose AV E for a

burglary call.

I talked to V/   who told me that someone had used a master key to get

into her apartment on 11/27/2010 sometime between the hours of 1100 and

1700. She told me that when she got home she noticed that two music CD’s

she had just purchased were missing, value of $14.00 total. She also

noticed that two of her glass goblets were missing, value of $15.00 for the

pair. Also a pair of sapphire and silver earrings was missing, value of


V/   said she had looked to make sure the property was missing and

could not locate them anywhere in the apartment.

 I saw no signs of forced entry. I gave V/   a business card with the

case number, my name and serial number. I also gave her a victim follow up

form and explained how to fill it out.

Sounds like even with the Key Ring Kid busted, there are plenty of collectors still at work. What to do? Well, if it’s an apartment you plan to stay in, you can talk to your building manager about adding your own lock to your door. You could also go the route of these veterans of city living and just leave your door unlocked and take your chances.

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12 thoughts on “The Key Ring Kid busted but ‘master key’ burglaries continue

  1. I am really frustrated that the police did not even offer myself a victim follow up form when I reported two different burgalries, same thing no forced entry and one individual where I live had the master key. The Police did nothing other than file case numbers, no finger printing and NO VICTIM FOLLOW UP FORM>
    It is really unfair how some are treated with less fairness than others.

  2. This is even more retarded than the plane bandit dude, at least he was less of a snot-nosed scrub and did something many others can’t do.

  3. It’s not that difficult to get a hold of master keys for a lot of apartment / condo / office buildings in the City of Seattle.

    Check around the lobby by the elevators. Is there a little red box marked for the fire department! BINGO! Even though you aren’t supposed to put building master keys in this box, a lot of buildings do. The boxes are only supposed to hold the keys necessary to operate the elevator!

    Anyway, these boxes are all keyed alike throughout the city, and you can get your hands on the barrel key rather easily. (Most locksmiths will give you one if you know what your asking for.) Even without the key, the boxes are just sheet metal and can be easily busted open.

    I don’t have any problem posting this information because any responsible building manager SHOULD KNOW DAMN WELL that they aren’t supposed to keep master keys in those boxes. (The Fire Department has a very secure key box called a Knox Box which is supposed to hold the master key. These boxes are almost invincible, and you can’t get a copy of the key without providing Fire Department credentials.)

  4. Can anyone identify the building on melrose? I’m concerned as a resident of that street- this is not comforting news.

  5. Agreed, the plane bandit kid was exceedingly more awesome, by far. i really hope he’s not doing any time, what he did was kind of amazing.

  6. Hmmm–I live next to Swedish on Broadway, and came home this evening to find that a key had been broken off in the front entry lock, jamming it shut. The lock on the side entry is also broken.(Side entry door has deep pry marks/gouges, but that may have happened earlier). Thankfully, no burglar got in–and a neighbor let me in!

    Hope it’s a coincidence and that the kid doesn’t have partners.