SUV with Push-to-Start Car Key Stolen

(VIA Q13 Fox News) Push-to-start car key systems are suppose to increase the security of your vehicle, while also increasing the amount of convenience that you have when accessing your vehicle. For one car owner in Seattle this was not the case. The father stopped at a gas station to get a cigar with his 10-month-old in the back seat of the vehicle. When he left the vehicle to go into the store he left his 10-month-old in the vehicle, which Phila-Locksmith reminds you is highly dangerous.

The father was in line at the store when he noticed a man quickly open his car door and jump inside. The father then quickly ran outside pleading with the vehicle to thief to not take the vehicle with his child inside. Since the keyless fob was in the father’s pocket, when he exited the store he was back in range of the vehicle to read the fob and start the vehicle. At this point the thief started the car and took off with the 10-month-old baby in tow. Just a short while down the road, the thief ditched the vehicle and the child, both of which were recovered safely. Witnesses who saw the man jump out of the vehicle had to stop in from rolling down the street, since the man jumped out in such a rush that he had not even put the vehicle into park.

The question remains how the vehicle was able to start even though the key fob was not inside of the vehicle. Most keyless start vehicles claim that the engine will not start unless the fob is inside of the vehicle, but there have been multiple cases where a keyless fob has been able to start a vehicle from outside. Another concern with this story is another parent leaving their child alone in a vehicle. While a situation like this may be unlikely, why risk the safety of your child? The 10-month-old was completely alright when police recovered the vehicle. Police also took the thief into custody at a restaurant just blocks from where he had ditched the ride. Keep an eye to see if vehicle manufacturers will change the technology in their push-to-start systems in the near future as vehicle owners look for security that they can rely on. After all, what good is convenient access to your vehicle, if everyone has convenient access to the vehicle?

Police Officer Charged With Animal Cruelty

(VIA Billings Gazette) A police officer in Wyoming is facing animal cruelty charges after leaving a K9 police dog in a locked car for over seven hours. The black lab who had been with the police force for seven years died as a result of this. Officer Zachary Miller arrived with the K9 around 5:30AM to begin a shift and did not go to retrieve the dog until about 1:00pm in the afternoon. While Miller is still being employed by the police department, he is not currently on active duty. The officer faces a fine of up to $750 and a maximum prison term length of six months. Not only was the police dog, Nyx, not only a seven year veteran of the police department, but also lived with Officer Miller’s family. The police chief, Bryon Preciado, said that, “If he violated the law, then he should be held accountable just like anybody else”, in regards to Officer Miller’s connection to the death of Nyx. This in no doubt true, however, the current charges that the officer faces are hardly stiff enough.

There has been a surge in the amount of storied regarding both children and pets who have been left in locked vehicles. A police officer, of all people, should be aware of how dangerous that leaving someone or an animal in a locked car can be. It is reported that by the time the officer returned to his vehicle, the temperature outside the vehicle had gone from 53 to 86 degrees. This is clearly unacceptable behavior from a police officer. In many other cases, where the perpetrator has not been a police officer, the punishment has been much greater. Whether this is a result of lenient prosecution simply because he is a police officer, or a simple lack of appropriate punishment on the books has yet to be determined.

nyx

The dog pictured above is Nyx. The black lab police dog who was left in a locked car for over seven hours.

In many cases where an ordinary civilian injures a police K9, the citizen is charged as if the police dog is an extension of other officers. With Officer Mills only facing a slight slap on the wrist, in addition to still being employed by the department, it seems that the precedent is not the same if the perpetrator is a police officer. It will be interesting to see if there are additional charges which may be coming down the line for Officer Mills, or if he will be put back onto the active police force. More animals and children are making front page news for being left in a locked vehicle by their guardians. It is amazing that people still continue to commit the same egregious mistakes as these stories become more and more common place.

Man Beaten For Leaving Kids in Locked Car

(VIA WKMG) In the Northern part of Florida, one bar’s patrons decided to exact some vigilante justice on a father of three who not only left the children locked in the car for hours, but then attempted to drunk-drive away, once attention was called to his actions. Fortunately for the children they were unharmed in this case, but the results could have been much more tragic if it had not been for the wandering eye of a passerby,

One patron of the bar was outside around 2AM, when she noticed the three children, ages 5, 7 and 8, were inside of the car. The patron, Heather Weiss, had her eye draw to the vehicle after the children inside began honking the horn loudly and shouting for their father. Weiss, who’s boyfriend is the bouncer at the bar, notified management about the children and they set out to find the culprit. It was later found that a 28-year-old father, Joshua Delong, was to blame. After admitting the children were his, he attempted to flee inside of his vehicle, but was restrained by security, since it was believed that he was intoxicated. At this point other bar patrons who were upset about the entire episode which was occurring struck Mr. Delong as he was being restrained outside of the bar.

joshua delong

Mr. Delong was the 28-year-old father who was found to have left his children in the car as he drank inside of a local bar.

Once police arrived Joshua Delong was taken into custody, while no other patrons were taken into custody. To top off the entire story, Mr. Delong claimed that his wife was taking care of the children, but dropped them off in the vehicle while he was inside of the bar drinking. Upon investigation, police found that Mr. Delong had custody of the children all five days prior to the incident and that the children’s mother was not at fault.

For the passerby who found the children this was obviously a scary situation. Anytime you see children in a vehicle unattended it is vital to get help as quickly as possible. It is just a matter of minutes that could make the difference in saving that child’s life. Ms. Weiss did note that the children were both sweaty and crying while inside of the locked vehicle and also noted that the car’s keys were in the ignition. Despite Mr. Delong’s claim that he was “dragged out of the bar and beaten” it seems that he will be facing serious charges for his actions. More and more stories have been popping up of children being locked in cars and it is extremely lucky that we have good samaritans like Ms. Weiss around to assist those children who can assist themselves.

Most Frequently Stolen Vehicles of 2013

The National Insurance Crime Bureau has released it findings for the most common vehicles which were stolen during the year 2013. This data is very useful to car owners and perspective car owners alike. A vehicle that is listed higher on this list for vehicle thefts may be more costly for you to insure. In addition, if your car is one being targeted highly by automotive thieves then you may want to take extra precautions which will help to prevent your vehicle from becoming just another statistic.

most stolen vehicle of 2013

Two Honda models topped the list of 2013’s most stolen car, but which one took top honors?

The Honda Accord was the most stolen vehicle last year and with over 53,900 total thefts last year, the Honda Accord had 8,000 more theft incidents than any other vehicle that is out on the road. Coming in a somewhat distant second was another Honda model, the Civic. There was a total of over 45,000 Honda Civic thefts in the country. It seems that Honda owners have reason to concern about the automotive security of their vehicles, the third most commonly stolen vehicle was the Chevrolet full-size pickup which had over 27,000 theft occurances, about half of the total thefts of Honda Accords. The reason that Hondas are being specifically targetted is the high value of their parts. These parts can be stripped from the stolen vehicle and then used in more recent model Hondas. This allows the criminals to sell parts below market value, but still cash in on the high value of replacement Honda parts.

Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles 2013

1. Honda Accord (53,995 Thefts)

2. Honda Civic (45,001 Thefts)

3. Chevrolet Pickup (27,809 Thefts)

4. Ford Pickup (26,494 Thefts)

5. Toyota Camry (14,420 Thefts)

6. Dodge Pickup (11,347 Thefts)

7. Dodge Caravan (10,911 Thefts)

8. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee (9,272 Thefts)

9. Toyota Corolla (9,010 Thefts)

10. Nissan Altima (8,892 Thefts)

Whether or not your vehicle is on the list above, you may want to consider a few steps that you can take to make your vehicle a less desirable target for thieves. The first and most obvious step is to lock your vehicle whenever you leave it. Even if you are just leaving the car for a second, that is all it takes for a thief to be driving down the road with your vehicle. Removing all valuables from plain sight is also a recommended action, this makes it less likely for thieves to want to access your car. In the case that you do not have a transponder car key, you may want to consider using a steering wheel club so that even if a thief can start the car, they will not be able to operate it. Lastly, know the area where you are parking your car and, if possible, park in a well-lit area that can deter thieves. Whether your car is on the list for most stolen cars in 2013 or not, it is wise to take precautionary steps that prevent thieves from targeting your car.

Smart Technology Revolutionizes Access Control

Businesses as well as property managers always want the best possible access control from their business to ensure that security is constantly achieved. Smart technology is allowing access control to become more secure and convenient without causing any additional hassle for the end user. By choosing a smart card over a proximity card for access control, you not only make the entire system more secure, but also have a myriad of options to add to the smart card. Many colleges are already taking advantage of this smart technology. Both Temple University and Drexel University of Philadelphia have implemented smart card technology that allows students access to dorms, classes, sporting events as well as using their campus dollars at stores throughout the university. This allows administrators to  implement just one single identification card in order to access everything the student may need without the need for multiple access cards.

smart access control

One smart card can be used for a range of purposes including identification and access control.

 

Due to the encryption that is available for smart cards when compared to proximity cards, businesses and property managers can get the most secure access possible. By having smart credentials all of the information that is stored on that card is much more secure than it would be on a proximity card. This makes them much more difficult for individuals to counterfeit, which is why many major universities have turned to smart card credentials for their access control.

Smart Phone Integration

As technology advances there will continue to be more and more convenience added to access control. The cutting edge of access control now is the use of smart phones within a smart card system. Many companies are joining the smart phone movement when it comes to access control and are allowing employees to access parts of their facility by using their smart phone as if it were a smart card. The smart phone features will only function when the access control devise is within a few inches of the phone, which helps users prevent unauthorized access from occurring.

With all of the technological trends in access control as well as security, locksmiths can no longer risk being just a lock and key service. Most locksmiths now have to be able to deal with an ever increasing flow of smart technology in their field. Whether it is transponder car keys, smart phone enabled locks, or smart access control, a locksmith must be ready to provide technical assistance, just as much as physical lock and key services. It will be interesting to see where this smart card technology begins to be implemented. Universities have taken the first steps due to their size and need to control the access and information of a student, but it will be interesting to see which businesses are next to pick up on this access control technology.

“It’s 10 o’clock, do you know where your car keys are?”

With the increases in automotive security thieves are looking for more and more ways to still continue to take vehicles. Recently the trend has been to break into homes to steal the owners key. For the thief this is the most direct route and easiest for them to get access to your car. Safeguard yourself from automotive theft by putting your car keys in a secure place. Public services announcements use to go “its’ 10 o’clock, do you know where your children are?”, but now that can be supplemented with car keys as well. If your residential security is not what you would like it to be, then it may not be wise to leave your car keys out in the open overnight. By keeping your car keys and spares in your bedroom with you can prevent them from being stolen.

Across the United States and in England this car key theft trend is on the rise. No that most cars require a transponder chip of some kind in order to start the vehicle, thieves who do not have technical automotive skills have had to move to the theft of the owner’s actual car keys. For example vehicles with transponder car keys can not be hot-wired. In some cases a thief may have a device or the skills to program a new key to the vehicle, but only the most skilled thieves would be able to use that method for theft without being detected. The technicians from Phila-Locksmith highly recommend keeping your car keys in a more secure location of your home at night. It may also be wise to keep car keys away from windows or high traffic areas where individuals may commit a crime of opportunity. Owners of high security and luxury vehicles should be most aware as criminals target those types of vehicles because of their worth.

steering wheel club

The steering wheel club is a classic that should not be overlooked for older model vehicles and new luxury cars alike.

The best way to protect your vehicle even if a thief has managed to get your car key, is the classic steering wheel club. By using a steering wheel club on your vehicle, the thief will be unable to drive away from your vehicle. Hopefully technology can advance to the point that this is no longer necessary, however it seems that the classic steering wheel club is the tried and true method of preventing your vehicle from becoming another automotive theft case. Check out our previous blog post where we go over the models of vehicles which are most likely to be targeted by automotive thieves.

 

 

No Show Locksmith Gives New Life to Eviction Protesters

(VIA MASSLive) In Springfield, Massachusetts, a community is rallying around a retired firefighter who was being evicted from his home on Monday of last week. The coalition of community members is known as Springfield No One Leaves and had between 60-70 protesters who tried to former a barrier to prevent the returned firefighter from being evicted from his home. After hours of stand off, during which police looked on, news spread throughout the crowd that the locksmith that was called to the scene to assist in the eviction never showed up. With the former firefighter, Alexander Richardson, locked in his home and refusing to come out, there was nothing that police could do, but hope to come back another day to complete the eviction process.

The protesters celebrated the no-show as a victory for their cause. They believe that Mr. Richardson should be given another chance to pay his late mortgage. Wells Fargo later released comment on the issue, saying that they have been attempting to settle with Mr. Richardson for six years. They also claim that Mr. Richardson also did not submit an application for a new loan until just two weeks ago.

Both sides of this situation say they have dug in. Alexander Richardson has vowed not to leave his home and Springfield No One Leaves has also vowed to keep a 24 hour presence until the matter has been solved in favor of Mr. Richardson. The bank has claimed that they will make another attempt to evict soon and this time they are likely hoping that they do not choose a no-show locksmith. It would not be too surprising if the locksmith had seen or heard of the protesters and thought it was best to avoid the situation completely. There have been plenty of eviction scenarios where locksmiths have been injured or killed and it may have been that to this locksmith the payment they would have received was not worth the potential for bodily harm that also comes from an intense emotional scene like this one.

Game of Thrones Unable to Save Foster Child from Vehicle

(VIA CBSNEWS) A foster father and his partner could be facing murder charges following the death of a 10-month old child that was in their care. Reports have indicated so far that July 24th a foster father accidentally left his 10-month old locked in the car by herself for about 2 hours after forgetting to remove her from the vehicle. CBSNews is reporting that the father had went into the house where he and his partner were smoking marijuana together and watching episodes of the hit show “Game of Thrones”. Sometime into watching a second episode of the hour installment series, a crying child in the show jogged the memory of the Kansas foster father and he hurried to the vehicle to retrieve the child. After unlocking the door, the father’s partner pulled the 10-month old from the vehicle who was both overheated and stiff.

The couple called 911 immediately for assistance and attempted to perform CPR on the child themselves. When medics did arrive on the scene it was too late, they attempted to revive the child, but to no avail. In these circumstances the prosecuting attorney hopes to convict on a murder charge, since the death occurred during a dangerous felony (aggravated child endangerment). While this is much different than the recent story out of Georgia where a father is charged with murder after intentionally leaving his child in a locked car, there is no doubt that neglect played a part in this child’s death. With the rash of child deaths this summer due to hypothermia, it is increasingly important to spread the message of education to help keep parents from having temporary lapses in judgement like this.

While in Game of Thrones there is a much more threatening feel to the words “Winter is Coming”, Phila-Locksmith is glad to hear them. With the hot temperatures of the summer months in effect, we have seen an epidemic of cases were parents have either intentionally or unintentionally left their children in hot cars. Phila-Locksmith wants to remind our readers that it is never acceptable to leave your child in a vehicle, even if just running into the store for a minute. The inside of a vehicle can reach dangerous temperatures in just a matter of minutes and younger children, as well as the elderly, are especially susceptible to their wrath. We have a helpful list of tips, which was included with our last story about a child being left in a hot car and we would like to present those tips again. It is always much better to be sure and safe than sorry, always double check that you have taken your child out of the car everytime you exit the vehicle.

Helpful Tips:

  • Leave your cellphone in the child’s car seat
  • Put an item in child’s seat when it is empty, but move it to the front when they are riding along
  • Educate your child on the dangers of being left in a car, so they can identify a dangerous situation no matter who they are with
  • Never leave your child in the vehicle!
vehicular heat stroke

Phila-Locksmith wants to bring attention to the serious issue of children being left in hot cars. Year after year there are countless deaths which are attributed to children and the elderly being left inside of a hot car.

5 Ways to Save with a Locksmith

Phila-Locksmith is all about providing professional locksmith services to the Delaware Valley, but we also want to save our customers money at every turn that is possible. Below we have compiled a list of 5 simple tips that you can use to help save yourself money. Whether it is just being slightly more prepared, or just making a more informed decision, Phila-Locksmith wants you to be able to save money on your locksmith services when possible.

1. Have a Spare Key Made

Rather than waiting until your key is lost or stolen to have it replaced, have a copy of your key made and stored in a safe place for you to use. It is much cheaper to have a car key or house key copied before it is lost, rather than having them replaced after they have been lost. This is especially true when it comes to transponder car keys, which can cost you over $100 dollars more to have replaced than to have duplicated.

2. Leave a key with a trusted neighbor

Have a family member who lives on your block? Or maybe a life long friend? If you trust that individual it may be a wise choice to leave them a copy of your house key. This can help you to prevent being locked out of your home and having to incur a charge from an emergency locksmith services. Whenever you find yourself without your key, you can retrieve your spare from that neighbor’s house and quickly have yourself back inside without having to wait or pay. Of course, you must be sure that you trust the individual who has your keys, otherwise you could end up becoming a victim of theft.

3. Re-keying locks on a new home 

Purchasing a new home can be a very exciting time and it can be easy to overlook some of the most vital security measures. In order to make sure that no previous owner, or anyone they gave a key to can access your home it is recommended that you have the locks on the house re-keyed. By having your locks re-keyed rather than completely changed you can avoid having to purchase brand new lock set, while still ensuring your new home is secure.

4. Hang security camera signs

Do not have the budget for security cameras in your home security? Hanging warning signs which say there are cameras on premises can help to deter burglars from entering your property without having to spend the money on closed circuit television installation. This method is slightly more effective than the old, “Before of Dog” sign trick, since cameras can be hidden from burglars much easier than the sound of a dog barking.

5. Choose a locksmith over a car dealership

If possible, when you are looking to have car key or ignition service for your vehicle completed, choose to have a mobile locksmith come out to your location, rather than having your vehicle towed to the dealership. By having a mobile locksmith complete your service, you can cut out the unnecessary towing charge to the dealership’s location, while also avoiding their inflated parts and labor charges. Automotive locksmiths like Phila-Locksmith can complete most of the same services that a dealership can without having to get your vehicle towed.

Use these five tips to help you save money when it comes to your home, commercial and automotive security. They are inexpensive ways to help safe guard yourself from having to pay for more expensive locksmith services down the line.

3 Felony Counts for Woman Who Left Children in Vehicle

(VIA WKRN Nashville) It could be that there is something about Walmart parking lots, or more and more parents are disregarding the serious danger that is leaving their child in a vehicle unattended. Yesterday a mother in Nashville, Tennessee, was arrested and charged with three felony counts of child endangerment after leaving three children unattended inside of her car while she was shopping. Witnesses reported the children to security, who were able to call the police to assist the children. Once the police arrived on scene, they found that the children had been left in the vehicle with the keys still in the ignition. With none of the children older than 4 years-old, this is obviously a situation which would be very dangerous to the children involved. Whether it could have been an automotive theft which could have occurred, or vehicular heat stroke from the temperature inside of the vehicle, this mother clearly put her children in harm’s way.

When the mother returned back to the vehicle she told officers on the scene that she had just run into the store “for a minute”. However, officers reviewed surveillance tape inside of the Walmart and discovered that the woman had been inside of the store for at least 45 minutes. Fortunately for the children, this occurred later in the day, otherwise the results could have been deadly.

walmart left kid in car

Image of the woman charged with three counts of felony child endangerment in connection with this incident.

Looking forward Phila-Locksmith always reminds you to bring your child with you, whenever you are going to be exiting the vehicle. By bringing your child with you, a slew of potential dangerous situations for you and your children can be avoid, rather easily. Below you can find a few of our tips that can assist you to avoid leaving your child locked in the car accidentally.

Helpful Tips:

  • Leave your cellphone in the child’s car seat
  • Put an item in child’s seat when it is empty, but move it to the front when they are riding along
  • Educate your child on the dangers of being left in a car, so they can identify a dangerous situation no matter who they are with
  • Never leave your child in the vehicle!
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