NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A retired locksmith from New Jersey has reportedly tried to sell sets of what he calls “firemen’s key ring,” causing some city leaders to ring the alarm bell.
The set of five keys could control virtually every elevator in the city, along with stoplights, subway gates and some firehouse doors.
The keys may also allow the buyer access to One World Trade and other construction sites around the city.
Officials worry that if the keys wind up in the wrong hands, it could mean catastrophe for the city.
The key rings were being sold by Daniel Ferraris, 69, of Union City, on eBay for less than $150, according to the New York Post.
The listing was not longer on eBay as of Sunday morning, but it remains unclear how many sets may have already been sold.
New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio reacted, calling the sale a major threat to all New Yorkers.
“We cannot let anyone sell the safety of over 8 million people so easily. Having these keys on the open market literally puts lives at risk. The billions we’ve spent on counter-terrorism have been severely undercut by this breech [sic],” deBlasio said in a release.
Three of the five master keys to the city’s infrastructure are standard issue for members of the FDNY.
An undercover Post reporter bought a set of the keys and tested them out, the paper reported.
According to the Post, most of the keys did work and the set had a metal dog tag that was embossed with an FDNY lieutenant’s shield number, 6896.
Two other keys on the key ring used by official city electricians allow them access to street lamps, along with the basement circuit-breaker boxes of just about any large building, the Post reported.
“There can’t be any delay in closing this vulnerability. The City must repurchase any remaining keys or block their sale. We need a swift investigation into how these keys fell into insecure hands in the first place. And we need protocols in place to prevent a breech [sic] of this magnitude from ever happening again,” de Blasio said in the release.
Former FDNY and NYPD Commissioner Howard Safir also condemned the sale.
“These keys are issued to firefighters for emergency situations,” Safir told the Post. “Just anyone having them is very dangerous.”
It is unclear how Ferraris obtained the key rings and whether the possession or sale of the keys is illegal.
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