BOLOCOP™ Alert #199 Department Alert #

Tempe Police Department

Hotel Burglaries

Beginning January 1, 2013 there have been several Hotel Burglaries occurring at various hotels across the valley,  with Scottsdale, Tempe, and Mesa having a large quantity of occurrences. The rooms are believed to be accessed through the use of a Portable Programmer, or other similar device. A Portable Programmer, or “P.P.”, is also known as a workbox. It is a device that is used to open locks with dead batteries and has the capability of making master keys. The device reads the electronic memory of the lock and can then open the door.

Onity, who makes most of the hotel locks are aware of this problem and has sent mechanical caps to all the hotels who use their locks around the first of the year.  They have also sent several letters, warning them of this trend. 

There are two ways to prevent burglaries by this method.

1.  Install a mechanical cap that blocks the data port.  This requires the burglar to completely remove the handle/lock case and use special tools to gain access to the data port.  This is a major deterrent but can still be defeated if the burglary has 10 or so minutes to dismantle the lock.  All hotels should have received these

2.  Firmware upgrade.  The hotel can call Onity technical services and tell them what model and year of lock they have, and Onity can get them a firmware upgrade to completely block the portable programmer.  This one may cost money, but it works 100% according to Onity.

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