Barry Farm: Thief steals 100 keys from Barry Farm

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Police in D.C. say someone broke into the management office of a Southeast Washington public housing complex and stole keys to 100 apartments.

It happened either Monday night or Tuesday morning in the Barry Farm Community, which is run by the D.C. Housing Authority and has over 400 housing units.

Spokesman Rick White says workers scoured stores in the area until they were able to buy 200 new locks -- enough for the front and back doors of the roughly 100 affected apartments.

"Everybody should know that before they fall asleep tonight they'll have a brand new lock on both the front door and the back door," White said Tuesday night as workers went though the neighborhood replacing locks.

Before changing the locks, employees left notices in the doors of the 100 apartments that had keys stolen.

The notices said the locks needed to be replaced, but didn't say why. Still, word quickly spread through Barry Farm about the break-in.

"Here I've been at work all day, come home to find out that somebody has the keys to my house," said Barry Farm resident Jackie Thrash before crews arrived to change her locks.

Residents say the key theft was unnerving, but they praised the housing authority for getting the locks changed quickly.

"That really worried me," resident Tip Miller said of the thefts. "But now that they're [changing the locks], I'm okay now, I'm alright."

White, the Housing Authority spokesperson, said that as of 9:00 p.m. Tuesday workers had replaced all the locks in the 100 affected apartments. He added that it doesn't appear anything else was stolen from the Barry Farm management office except the keys.

As of Tuesday night, WJLA has not learned of any crimes committed by anyone using the stolen keys.

The case is currently under investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department.