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Keys and key codes are taken in break-in

July 22, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Master keys and key codes for about 50 businesses in Berkeley and Jefferson counties were stolen over the weekend during a break-in at a locksmith shop in downtown Charles Town, Charles Town Police said Monday.

Key codes contain information that is entered into a machine to make a key, Charles Town Police Detective Steve Harris said.

Not only were key codes stolen from Charles Town Lock and Key, but machines to make the keys also were taken, Harris said.

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The locksmith shop at 117 W. Washington St. was entered between 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Monday, Harris said.

The business, which is closed on weekends, was entered through a rear door, said Harris, who declined to go into detail about the break-in.

Owners of Charles Town Lock and Key said any of their clients can call the shop at 304-728-4346 to determine if their keys need to be changed.

When businesses call, Charles Town Lock and Key employees will know whether their systems are at risk and should be changed, said Aaron Greenburg, operations manager for Leesburg Lock and Key, a Leesburg, Va.-based company that owns the local locksmith shop.

Although Greenburg declined to say what type of businesses used the stolen keys and key codes, he said some were big clients.

Greenburg estimated keys and key codes for about 50 businesses were taken, while Harris declined to specify a number.

"We've got a preliminary list, but I don't want to say. It's a lot," Harris said.

If any customers of Charles Town Lock and Key receive solicitations from a company or individual about their lock systems, they should notify police, Greenburg said.

Anyone with information about the break-in can call the Charles Town Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division at 304-725-2714.

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