6 Week Old Baby Left in Car Outside Wal-Mart

(VIA NBC10) In a story that is becoming all to common this summer, another mother was found to have left her child inside of her SUV outside of the Wal-Mart on Franklin Mills Boulevard. Just last week we detailed the heroic story of a 3 year old who was able to save an elderly man locked inside of his car, and the dangers of automotive heat stroke. Needless to say, it is never safe to leave your child unattended in a vehicle, especially in the summer. In just a matter of minutes the temperature inside of a locked vehicle can reach dangerous levels, so no matter who fast the trip will be, always bring your child with you.

Luckily for this family, a passerby had saw the child locked inside of the vehicle and called police. By the time that police and medical personnel had arrived on the scene the mother had returned to the vehicle. The mother of the 6-week-old was taken in by police for questioning and after examination, the child was released to their father. Fortunately in this case the child was not harmed, but it is always important to remember to bring your child with you whenever you exit your vehicle. Below you can find a list of help tips that will help you to always remember when your child is in the back seat of your car.

Tips to Avoid Leaving Your Child in the Car

One of the best recommendations that we have at Phila-Locksmith is to put your cell phone with your child in their car seat. Not only will you remember to grab your child since you will have to get your phone from the car seat, but you can avoid using your cell phone on the road, which is illegal in the city of Philadelphia. Putting your cell phone in your child’s car seat is a perfect way to kill two birds with one stone. There are also companies which offer products that give you a notification anytime you have strayed to far from your child. These products attach to your child’s clothing and another sensor is on a bracelet the parent car wear. When this is used in a car, the parent would be warned as soon as they walked away from the car that their child was still inside.

It is always a bad idea to leave your child in a vehicle unattended. Many of the incidents of vehicular heat stroke that are heard out in the news happen when a parent claims that they forgot their child in the backseat. Unfortunately there are still plenty of parents out there who think it is alright to leave a child in the car, even if just running inside of the store for a second. While sometimes parents may be able to get away with a quick run into the store, it only takes one time for tragedy to strike.

child locked in car

Even if just for a matter of minutes, leaving your child unattended in a vehicle is dangerous.

3 Year Old Saves Man Locked In Car

(VIA WTVC) A child in Tennessee is being hailed as a hero after saving an elderly man who had gotten locked inside of his vehicle at a church function on Saturday. Recently there a head been a stretch of deaths and close calls that were caused by vehicular heat stroke, that is what led three-year-old Keith Williams’ mother to teach her son about the dangers of being in a hot locked car. Just days later they found themselves at a fundraiser in Nashville for the Vestal Baptist Church and little Keith’s knowledge the dangers of being stuck in a car were put to the test.

At the same fundraiser 68-year-old Bob King and his wife were in attendance. Staying in his vehicle, Bob was accidentally locked inside of the car because of a sticky lock. Since his wife had taken the keys he was unable to turn the air conditioning on. Due to having strokes as well as cancer treatment recently, Bob was left in very poor shape and was unable to get the door open himself. With temperatures outside already pushing 90 degrees this situation had the making for a very tragic  ending.

Mr. King saw Keith walking past the car he was stuck in and started tapping on the glass in an attempt to get the child’s attention. After quickly getting his attention, Bob, tried to ask the boy to go get help. Having learned the dangers of being locked in a car just days before, Keith went in search of an adult who would be able to help him open the car door since he could not do so him. The boy sought out the help of the Pastor of Vestal Baptist Church Jack Greene who at first was confused by the boys request. Being only a three-year-old, at first all little Keith told Pastor Greene was, “locked, locked”. When Pastor Greene did not think anything of it immediately Keith pulled on the Pastor and said “hot, hot, hot”, at that point the Pastor knew that something was up and that he should follow the child to find out what was going on.

“His whole body was raining sweat. His face was red like a pickled beet” – Pastor Greene on Mr. King’s appearance

As soon as Pastor Greene got to the car he identified what was wrong and after a few tries was able to get the jammed door open. With temperatures inside the vehicle quickly rising and much higher than the 91 degrees outside, it is no surprise that Mr. King was in bad shape. Fortunately the Pastor got to the man in time and was able to bring him into the church for water and air conditioning in order to bring his body heat back to a more manageable level. It ended up that his wife had not returned to the car until 20 minutes after Bob had been taken from the vehicle. If it had not been for the three-year-old hero Keith then this whole scenario could have been a tragedy.

3 year old saves

Pictured above is Keith Williams three-year-old who saved a Nashville man locked in his vehicle.

Phila-Locksmith highly recommends that you inform your children of the dangers that being locked in a vehicle can bring. By warning your children they can also help you identify dangerous situations which are going on.

Vehicular Heat Stroke an Unnecessary Tragedy

From the department of things that should not have to be said leaving your child or pet in a vehicle is extremely dangerous and can cause death in just a matter of minutes. Over the past weeks the news has been flooded with parents who have both intentionally and unintentionally left their children inside of locked cars and Phila-Locksmith feels that there is a need to reemphasize exactly how much of a threat that vehicular heat stroke can be. Especially in these hot summer months, the inside of a closed vehicle can get to extreme temperatures in just a matter of minutes. With over 606 child deaths since 1998 because of vehicular heat stroke in addition to uncounted amounts of close calls, it is obvious that the message of how dangerous the inside of a vehicle can be on a summer day needs to be spread to more parents.

New Orleans, LA

A mother in Slidell, just outside of New Orleans, LA was arrested just the other day for leaving her child in the vehicle for 30 minutes while she was inside shopping. Luckily for everyone involved a good samaritan called police to come and get the 5-week-old out of the vehicle. When they finally got the child out of the car the inside had sweltered to a temperature of about 130 degrees. Police say that if it had not been for the good samaritan who called police then the child would have likely died from vehicular heat stroke. No matter who quickly you think that you will be in and out of a store, it is not quick enough to leave a child behind.

Philadelphia, PA

In the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia a babysitter was taken into custody on Tuesday for leaving five children in a car while she was grocery shopping. She did leave the air conditioner running for the children who were all under the age of nine, but when police arrived to get the children out of the vehicle they found that all of the children were overheated. All of the children were taken to the hospital for evaluation and were later released to their parents.

Pittsburgh, PA

Perhaps the worst story of a child left in the car recently comes from Pittsburgh, PA were a mother and step father were charged with child endangerment after they had left a child in their vehicle while they drank at a bar. The windows were cracked and it was just after midnight that police were called to the scene by another bar patron, however this underscores that even when temperatures are not overly oppressive that having children and pets in the car is dangerous. As police arrived on the scene and found the two year old slumped over in the vehicle, the mother left the bar and was arrested. The 2 year old boy was taken to the hospital for evaluation and is expected to make a full recovery.

These are just three stories of children being left in a hot car over the past week and some of the situations are down right appalling. As a member of the American Best Locksmith family we are joining together with other locksmiths to form emergency responders to any case where a pet or child is locked in the car. Many times police are able to open the vehicle and quickly, but we want to join with other locksmiths to offer free door unlocking whenever there is a child or pet locked in the vehicle. The dangerous of vehicular heat stroke are very real and parents need to take extra care during the summer months. American Best Locksmith has developed a list of tips to prevent vehicular heat stroke and also recommends the 1decision bracelet which can prevent a child from ever being unintentionally left behind in a vehicle, or any other setting.

vehicular heat stroke

97% of recorded vehicular heat stroke deaths have occurred since 1990.

Could Uber Pave the Way for Locksmiths?

In case you have missed it, there is a new way to get around the city. Uber has been offering an alternative to using Taxis to get around cities. Their application is straight forward and offers customers a live view of where all of the closest cars are at. At Phila-Locksmith we think that this could also be the future of the locksmith industry. Rather than calling around to find which locksmith is the closest to you, a map would display the location of the closest locksmith.

 

uber

Uber’s easy to use interface would add convenience for locksmith customers.

In additional to a helpful and easy interface, the Uber application allows you to get a price quote for your ride. This would be extremely convenient for customers, especially given that they may have to call multiple companies for pricing. Without having to call anyone a customer could easily get the service quote and see exactly where the technician is at. Anyone who has had to endure a long wait for a locksmith knows that being able to see his exact location would be a big help on your nerves. It will be interesting to see if Uber does decide to expand into additional services, but the general concept of their application is something that could greatly increase the amount of convenience that a locksmith company could offer.

St. Petersburg Police Giving Away Steering Wheel Clubs

(VIA myFOXTampaBay) In St. Petersburg there has been an increase in a specific type of crime. That is where thieves break into a home and then not only steal valuables immediately, but also take the spare copy of the homeowners key. While your car may not be home when the theft occurs, St. Petersburg police are saying that many times these thieves are coming back later to steal the vehicle when they think that it will be home. In some cases the owner may realize that the spare key is missing, while in others, they do not realize the key is gone until it is already too late.

There are two ways that you can protect your own vehicle after the spare key has been stolen. The first is to get the classic steering wheel club. We recommended the steering wheel club as a great way to prevent thieves with jiggler keys from being able to steal your car, and they also provide outstanding results in this scenario as well. If you lock the club onto your steering wheel, there is no way for the thief to drive the vehicle while the club is in tact. This is why the St. Petersburg police force is offering a free steering wheel club to any car owner who comes in to fill out a theft report.

The second way that you can protect your car from theft is to have the stolen key removed from the car’s computer system. In newer model vehicles which have a transponder car key in their system, the key must be able to properly communicate with the computer for the vehicle to start. By going to a locksmith or the dealership you can have this key removed from the car’s computer system. While the thief may still be able to open your car door lock, the key will not be able to start the car and can prevent you from being the victim of another car theft.

st petersburg police

Stolen Locksmith Tools Recovered

One locksmith in Fresno has to be breathing a deep sigh of relief after police recovered about $60,000 worth of his stolen locksmith equipment at a Fresno home last Friday. Like many locksmiths now-a-days the one from Fresno was a mobile locksmith who completed service right at his customer’s location. Since he was doing this, his parts and tools are always constantly inside of the van. Unfortunately for that locksmith, someone stole his entire van earlier in the week. While police were able to recover the van itself, they found that the thieves had already cleaned the entire thing out. That was until last Friday when police discovered all of the stolen materials when searching the home of a parolee in Central Fresno.

The reason that the locksmith had such a wealth of tools and parts inside of his van is that as a mobile locksmith he wants to be ready at all times to complete any type of service. This means that the locksmith not only has all of his expensive tools, but a collection of varying locks and keys for whichever service a customer may need. Luckily for car owners, the criminals were not able to use any of the stolen goods before the police discovered their location. Computer chip car keys have increased automotive security, but with the programming and cutting tools that a locksmith would normally have can give a criminal an easier avenue to steal your vehicle.

It is good for all that this can be chalked up to a learning lesson, especially since this locksmith stated he lost a large portion of his supplies in a warehouse fire not long ago. Police recovered 150 car keys, 50 locks and a laser key cutting machine among other supplies, which the Fresno locksmith must be happy to have back.

Twists in the Most Recent Locksmith News

Second Teenager Succumbs to Injury in Hit and Run

A story that we first posted about on May 27th, a Georgia locksmith was arrested after hitting a group of teenagers who had been walking to their local movie theater. One of those teenagers died at the scene, and it was reported last Friday that a second teenager from the same incident has passed away due to her injuries. The hit and run occurred on May 25th after an area man, Garret Anderson refused to pay a locksmith after his car had been unlocked. The locksmith gave chase to this man and after blocks, the man stopped, but the locksmith lost control of the vehicle striking three teenagers. Two have since died, one remains in the hospital, but is expected to recover.

Man Being Evicted Did Not Fire His Weapon

Another story that we recently posted about came out of Lancaster Count in Nebraska. The initial reports stated that a locksmith as well as deputy officers were completing an eviction of a man who had reoccupied a home he was suppose to be out of. The locksmith arrived on scene and opened the door, when he did the man was standing on the other side of the doorway holding a gun. Originally it was reported that shots were fired in both directions, but police are now reporting that the man who had occupied the home, 64 year old Doug DaMoude, had a rifle which was not loaded and he did not fire first. Police accounts are now that when the door was opened Mr. DaMoude raised his rifle, and not knowing that the gun was unloaded, deputy officers fired on the man killing him. Both deputy officers involved in the shooting were cleared to return to duty and were found to have been acting with the correct use of deadly force, according to their commander. A grand jury will also be convened following the autopsy release of Mr. DaMoude in order to examine whether the use of deadly force was necessary. It is also important to note that prior to this incident Mr. DaMoude had threatened police in letters saying that he did not respect their authority and would kill them if they attempted to evict him from his foreclosed home again.

 

Locksmith Involved in Eviction Shooting

(VIA KLKNTV) A dangerous situation arose late last week when one Nebraska locksmith went out on an eviction call with a few of the local sheriffs. It is common place during an eviction for the Sheriff’s office to have a locksmith on hand to assist with the eviction. The reason for this is that in some cases the individual being evicted has changed the locks and the locksmith is needed in order to get into the building, and once the eviction has been completed the locksmith is there to re-key the locks to ensure the individual being evicted can no longer go into the home.

Locksmiths across the nation do this daily without incident, occasionally we do hear stories of locksmiths who have been in danger or even killed during these eviction processes. In the cases of eviction we always remind our technicians to exercise extreme caution in order to keep themselves safe. Just like our Philadelphia locksmiths, this locksmith in Nebraska had completed multiple evictions before without having any type of issue.

Locksmith John Firestine says he’s served a number of eviction notices before. Usually, no one is home. But that wasn’t the case Friday

When Mr. Firestine arrived on scene he completed his unlocking service as he normally would, but after officers forced open the door they were faced with a fearful sight. A man holding a gun was directly behind the door. The man was the individual being evicted and had moved back into the home without permission. Officers quickly drew their weapons and shots were fired in both directions. Fortunately for the locksmith and the officers, only the man behind the door was injured. After being struck by the police officer’s bullets the man was taken to the local hospital where he later died from his injuries.There is no doubt that eviction can be an extremely tense situation and it is always best for locksmiths to exercise caution when helping out on evictions.

Nevada Man Preying on Good Samaritans

(VIA Carson County Times) In one Nevada county at least one man is taking advantage of good Samaritans claiming that he is in need of locksmith service. Not sure if this trick would work in the city of Philadelphia, but this man has been going up to residents claiming that he is a neighbor and needs $40 in order to pay a locksmith to get back into his home. The man claims that he would be able to repay the neighbor as soon as he gets his wallet from the house. Of course after residents gave the man $40 he was found to not be a neighbor and was actually just using deceptive tactic to steal a quick $40. Philadelphia may be less willing to trust a story such as the one this Nevada man pulled, but it is still important to keep your guard up even in situations where you want to be a good samaritan. At Phila-Locksmith we always recommend, as part of overall residential security, to get to know your neighbors in order to get a better feel for home secure your home is. If the neighborhood had been a little more tightly knit then maybe residents would have been able to identify that this man was in fact not a neighbor. Police have been unable to find the man yet and are urging residents to contact their office should this occur again.

If this situation were to occur and you wanted to assist the man who came to your door, Phila-Locksmith has the following suggestions. Ask the man the address that he lives at, any hesitation or lack of specifics should be a red flag that this individual may not be a neighbor. Another step that you can take to ensure you are not being taken advantage of is to go to the neighbor’s home and pay the locksmith directly so you know that service is actually taking place. Lastly recommend that the individual have a family member provide their credit card information. Locksmiths who accept cards should also accept card information as a “deposit” if the customer’s payment method is locked in their home or vehicle.

Jiggler Keys: An Automotive Security Concern

Previously in our blog posts, we have touched on the security issues that can arise from the use of bump keys. Thieves use bump keys to easily gain access to your home in a theft, but a bump key is not effective for automobiles. Car owners still need to be wary about the threat of automotive theft which occurs thousands of times a year just in the city of Philadelphia alone. To begin with, older model vehicles are much more likely to be targeted by car thieves than newer vehicles.The reason that older model vehicles are targeted is they do not require a transponder chip inside of the key, which newer models do. This transponder key prevents the vehicle from being started unless a key that has been specifically programmed to that vehicle is placed in the ignition.  This poses the questions, what tools are thieves using to steal cars and how can you protect yourself?

Jiggler keys are to car thieves are what bump keys are to residential burglars. While the two keys operate in a slightly different fashion their design and principles of function are about the same. While bump keys use a cut down version of the lock’s key, a jiggler key is a generic copy of a certain make vehicle’s key. This generic key is put into the ignition and what the thief hopes is that the ignition is warn enough that the key will be able to start the vehicle even though the cuts do not match. In some cases this is extremely easy for thieves, especially in vehicles that have a high degree of wear to them. Both the ignition itself and the outside door lock can be compromised by jiggler keys and outside of purchasing an entirely new vehicle there is not much that can owners can do to prevent this from happening. In Western Washington, were jiggler keys and auto thefts have become a big problem this year, police are warning all citizens to be wary and notify them of any suspicious behavior. Police who have arrested thieves using jiggler keys before have noted that many of these thieves do not carry just one jiggler key, but multiple keys for different make vehicles that they may encounter.

With advancements in technology jiggler keys should not be a security concern for much longer, however the large number of used vehicles on the road today indicates that there will still be targets for thieves to identify into the near future. Many car manufacturers, like General Motors, have an eye towards the future when it comes to automotive key security. General Motors, in part due to a massive ignition recall, hinted that all future model vehicles may come with push to start systems standard. This not only will improve the security of vehicles, but will also eliminate service needs that arise from key turned ignitions. The weight of the keys, plus everything that a person has on their key ring, and the circular turning motion of the ignition, wear and tear become extremely common place. Replacing this circular motion with a button prevents any mechanical damage that can occur from regular use.

For now, older car owners can protect their car from jiggler keys with the classic security of a steering wheel club. At just $20 putting a steering wheel club in place, when you do not have a transponder or push to start system, is the best way to protect yourself from automotive thieves. Car owners can look forward to the day that push to start systems are standard, after all, it is much more difficult to steal a vehicle when it requires twenty minutes of programming and an very expensive machine!

steering wheel club

The steering wheel club is a classic that should not be overlooked for older model vehicles.

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