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Lockbox thief caught?

By: 20 August 2011 One Comment

It seems the real estate community — and people selling homes in the area — can rest a little easier.

Why? Over the past couple of months, Supra lockboxes have been vanishing from properties in Pulaski and Saline counties. It appears the Benton and Little Rock police departments have caught the thief. Amanda Tester, executive officer of Cooperative Arkansas Realtors Multiple Listings Services (CARMLS) confirmed Friday that an arrest has been made in the case. She said that GE’s security measures and intensive investigatory work from the local police departments resulted in an arrest, thus likely bringing the problem to the end.

So, what is a Supra lock box and why is the capture of someone who was stealing them a big deal? The GE Supra lockbox is marketed as a very secure device used to store keys to homes. Anyone in the area who has bought or sold a house through a Realtor knows should be familiar with the Supra lockbox — it typically hangs on a doorknob and can only be opened electronically by a Realtor authorized to do so. Before the advent of secure lockboxes, Realtors wound up driving around town and picking up keys in order to show homes to potential buyers.

GE has spent a lot of time and money making those Supra boxes secure. GE has demonstrated how it is virtually impossible for anyone without a proper access code to beat one of those rugged boxes open with a crowbar, shoot them or do anything else to break into it without destroying the keys protected inside the devices.

The recent rash of Supra lockbox thefts has been a concern because, according to Tester, the person swiping them figured out how to open them, remove the keys from them and steal valuables from homes. She pointed out the vast majority of keys stolen were not secured to homes — lockboxes that were attached to doorknobs were usually left alone, but those boxes that were, say, left lying on front porches were at risk.

While it’s likely that the reports of vanishing lockboxes have come to an end, Tester urged Realtors to make sure those Supra devices are secured to homes so that the risk of them being taken is drastically minimized. She also recognized the hard work of police in Benton and Little Rock as well as security procedures employed by GE.

We’ll have more details on this story as we get them.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.

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