As a dealership, if you do not have automotive key management systems in place, you could be at greater risk for theft. Of course, no one wants to imagine their dealership being robbed, but the sad fact is that it happens. Along with a security system, key tracking is one of the best things you can do to ensure that if thieves do target your dealership, they don’t cost you in inventory losses.

The value of prevention is a lesson that one used car dealership in Virginia Beach, VA is taking to heart after they were targeted by thieves in September. Four young men broke a window at The Car Exchange and spent an hour ransacking the building before leaving with four vehicles and hundreds of inventory keys. Although The Car Exchange had key boxes, they appear to have been the simple, manual type that too many small dealerships still use. Because there were not secure automotive key management systems in place, the thieves were able to steal vehicles as well as around 200 keys. It’s unsettling to hear about any dealership being targeted for theft, but perhaps the most unfortunate thing about this particular incident is the knowledge that a more secure dealership key tracking system may have prevented much of the loss The Car Exchange suffered.

According to a local Virginia Beach news station, 10 WAVY, police did recover the stolen vehicles, but by that time $50,000 of damage had been done. That does not include the cost of replacing many of the stolen keys that are still missing: at least one quarter of the original 200 that were stolen. Considering that key replacement costs can range between $200 and $500 per key, depending on the vehicle, 20 or 30 missing keys could easily add up to $15,000 more to the total amount The Car Exchange lost. Compare that to the significantly lower cost of leasing automotive key management systems, and you can quickly understand how secure key tracking can save dealerships huge amounts of money if they should ever find themselves in a similar situation.

Luckily, Adam Cheek, manager at The Car Exchange, says they are making some changes to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Hopefully the dealership will take a look at secure automotive key management systems as a part of their new, stronger security. In the meantime, however, this and other dealership thefts should serve as a warning to the wise. While things like alarms and automotive key management systems certainly add operating costs to dealerships, they can save dealerships even more in the long term.

Make no mistake: if your dealership is using an old-fashioned key box, you are at risk. Keeping your keys safe doesn’t have to break the bank, however. Contact Security Key Automotive to learn about our various automotive key management systems to fit different dealerships’ needs, as well as our cost-effective leasing program. It’s uncomfortable to imagine your dealership being broken into by thieves, but in this day and age, it’s a possibility that has to be considered. Let us give you peace of mind knowing that even if the unexpected happens, your keys and your inventory can be secure.