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Key-Copying Technology Helping Thieves Break Through Old School Security Systems

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- Thieves are employing high-tech key making tools to break into old school security and commit crime.

Just by slyly snapping a picture of a key and sending it into one of a handful of websites and apps designed for homeowners to copy keys, crooks can gain access to homes and locked facilities.

"Once they have that they're kind of in business," tech expert Lance Ulanoff pointed out to KPIX 5.

Keys don't even need to be removed from key chains to be copied, but the technology being used isn't new.

Jordan Meyer of says many locksmiths already do what thieves are doing.

"We require a copy of both the front and back of the key to make sure you have possession of it.  We also make sure you have a valid non pre-paid credit card, and we also have some other checks.

But he says those other checks don't include looking for the words "Do Not Duplicate."  Contrary to popular belief, those words alone are not legally binding.

"Keys are basically the passcode to your door.  Just like your social security number, don't give them out to people you don't trust completely," Meyer said.

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