Residents Say Thieves Have Master Key to Danville Housing Complex

Danville, VA - A rash of break-ins has left a lot of people scared in Danville's Cardinal Village neighborhood, but these aren't your typical robberies.

Residents say someone has gotten their hands on a master key to all of the apartments, and they are living in fear until that person is caught.
"Maintenance men don't know when they lost it, how they lost it, but somebody does have a master key and everyone is in danger, " said tenant Tangela Merritt.
Over the past two weeks, she says a variety of items have disappeared.

"Flat screen TV's, some people are missing money, some people are missing clothes, " she said.
Merritt is just grateful no one has been hurt since the master key allegedly went missing.
"I have elderly neighbors who can't defend themselves and it's very scary. A lot of people have lost a lot of sleep in two weeks, " she said.
Police are investigating. They say trace evidence left at the scene usually gives them enough to go on even without signs of forced entry, but Captain Dennis Haley says, if you see something suspicious, say something.
"If it's 3 o'clock in the morning and you see someone walking down the street with a TV, give us a call, " said Haley.
Merritt started a petition to get the locks changed after a site employee told her there isn't enough funding to get it done, but the Housing Authority Executive Director Gary Wasson says that's not true.
He says funding has been cut, but they're working to get new locks put in within the next ten days.
Merritt hopes that's not too late for any more of her neighbors.
"I really hope that we get a better security system over here. Just keep us safe, " she said.
It's against Housing Authority policy for tenants to change their own locks because of a special system of locks that they use.
Merritt got at least 75 signatures on her petition today. She says the residents there are ready for a change.