What You Need to Know About Locksmith Ethics
Reputable locksmiths always ask for ID before helping with a lockout.
Recently, a bizarre news story appeared in the Washington Post about a Santa Monica woman named Fay Wells who had used a locksmith to gain access to her apartment.
The California businesswoman had had a hectic morning, and while rushing out of the apartment she managed to leave her keys behind. After work, she called a locksmith who opened the apartment door for her.
This should have been the end of the story. However, shortly after Wells gained access to her apartment two police officers arrived on her doorstep, guns drawn, and demanded she come outside. Apparently, a man in another apartment building in the complex had noticed Wells with the locksmith and took it upon himself to call 911 and report a burglary.
Ultimately, a total of 19 officers arrived on the scene. Though Wells tried to explain that she had lived in the apartment for 7 months and offered to produce an ID and all kinds of other documents showing her identity and address, the officers were apparently not convinced and insisted on entering her apartment.
Wells believes that the neighbor’s 911 call as well as the police’s strong response were motivated by racism. As a woman of color, she stood out in her mostly-white apartment complex and believed this was why no one seemed to believe she really had a right to be in her own apartment. Wells found the entire experience very traumatic and reports that she now has insomnia and horrible nightmares.
With the question of racism put aside for a moment, it is possible to theorize that this entire situation could have been prevented if more people understood the ethical principles that all reputable locksmiths abide by.
Locksmiths do not provide lockout services unless the client can prove they have a right to the property being unlocked.
So, when that neighbor saw the locksmith working on Wells’ door, he should have known that this meant Wells had already proven that it was her apartment and she had a right to open the door.
How to Spot a Fake, Unethical Locksmith
Of course, there are some individuals who pose as locksmiths for their own ends. These individuals are obviously totally unethical and might open a lock without checking that the client has a right to do so. Fortunately, fake locksmiths are easy to spot for their conspicuous failure to meet the standards that a reputable locksmith abides by.
Specifically, fake locksmiths often do not have a local brick and mortar location, do not provide reliable estimates, do not have a business card with their license number on it to present to potential clients, and do not arrive in a marked business vehicle.
Need Reliable Locksmith Services?
If you need help with a lockout or any other lock issue, call RBM Lock & Key right away at 909-980-3448. We’ve been helping clients in the Inland Empire since 1973 and we can help you too.