LONG BEACH, Calif.—The city of Long Beach issued a safety advisory Dec. 29 in response to a series of incidents involving suspects accessing security boxes containing keys and making unlawful entries into buildings in the downtown area.
The security boxes, called KnoxBoxes, are located throughout the city and contain keys to specific properties that allow for rapid access for fire and law enforcement personnel during emergencies.
“While there are no reports of access to personal residences ... it is essential that the community is informed of the potential for unauthorized access to these KnoxBoxes and are educated about ways to prevent future instances from occurring,” a city statement said.
There have been at least three reported incidents of unauthorized access to KnoxBoxes and subsequent unlawful entries into buildings, according to the city.
“The Long Beach Police Department is actively investigating these incidents,” the statement said. “The safety and well-being of the community is of the utmost importance, and the city is taking this very seriously.”
The Long Beach Fire Department, which manages the KnoxBox program, is working to determine longer-term solutions to enhance the safety and security of the KnoxBox program, according to the city.
Short-term solutions being implemented now include the issuance of high-security tamper-proof labels for placement on existing KnoxBoxes, the city said.
Residents citywide are urged to report suspicious activity calling the city’s non-emergency phone line or 9-1-1 for emergencies.
The city said people with a KnoxBox at their residence or business should pay specific attention to it and report any signs of tampering.