Common weakness in facility security

By Pamela Singleton, Sonitrol Pacific Director of Communications
Posted July 22, 2009

Leslie Malik, Sonitrol Pacific Portland Customer Service Representative, gave me a crime alert regarding the burglary of a Medford bank over the weekend. The incident highlights roof hatches as a point of weakness in most businesses’ security and I thought it important to bring this to the attention of non-Sonitrol Pacific clients.

According to the 3VR Crime Dex alert:
On 7/18/09 at approximately 1200 hours, Medford Police were dispatched to a motion alarm in the vault at Chase Bank on Stewart Avenue. An officer responded and noted no suspicious circumstances, vehicles or anyone inside the bank and cleared from the call.
On 7/20/09, employees arriving for work found the bank vault had been burglarized and notified Medford Police Department. Officers responded, along with local FBI Agents to conduct an investigation.
The bank was breached from a roof access that had been previously tampered with. The hatch is bolted from the inside and should only be accessible from the inside. However, at some point, someone drilled holes through the hatch to access the bolts holding the inside lock. The holes were concealed with a metal plate cover. The bolts were removed, allowing the lock to be breached. From there, the suspects climbed down the roof access ladder, accessed the HVAC system and made entry into the vault by drilling a hole through the concrete.

Leslie wrote:
“This is an interesting article. We always install a contact switch on roof hatches for this very reason! So many holes with their security provider: no contact on the roof hatch; no verified alarm; officer assuming false alarm because no other information besides “motion detector”. Sonitrol Pacific would have detected the roof hatch entry, verified the alarm and instructed police on the point of entry, number of individuals, etc for the best opportunity to apprehend the suspects. Why would anyone want it any other way??”