Police: Burglar with special firefighter key connected in rash of crimes

knoxboxSEATTLE – Seattle Police say Norman Bottem broke in to at least 3 apartment buildings using a special key intended only for firefighters and emergency responders.

Investigators believe Bottem accessed what’s called a Knox box, which is a wall-mounted safe. The safe is used to hold other keys that grant access to a building.

Seattle Firefighters are the only people authorized to access Knox boxes and the SFD says none of their Knox box keys are missing.

Fire officials say 40 buildings in Seattle which use the Knox box may have had their secured keys stolen.

Bottem was arrested on September 18 on 3 counts of burglary. A police report says locksmith equipment and dozens of loose keys were discovered inside Bottem’s Burien apartment.

SFD is now in the process of re-keying all of the Knox boxes in Seattle, and that could cost more than $500,000.

Watch Q13 Fox News at 4p.m. and 5p.m. for more on this story.

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