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.

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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.

Georgia Locksmith Arrested Following Fatal Car Crash

(VIA New York Daily News) A horrible story has come out of Kennesaw, Georgia, on Sunday May 25th,  just a bit north of the city of Atlanta. For three teenage girls it was just a normal Sunday stroll to the movie theater when tragedy struck. Two vehicles were speeding down the road when one of the two vehicles jumped the curb striking the three teenage girls. In the crash one of the teenagers was killed and two others injured, and neither driver stopped to assist the injured girls.

Just minutes before this crash occurred an area locksmith, Tansu Kanlica, was unlocking a person’s car a few miles away. At this time it is unclear what professional accreditation, if any, that Tansu has, however Georgia state law does not require a license to be a practicing locksmith. Following the point where Tansu opened the customer’s, Garret Anderson’s, vehicle Garret refused to pay the locksmith’s charge of $175. At this point Mr. Anderson got in his vehicle and attempted to drive away, as he tries to leave the area, Mr. Kanlica followed him in his locksmith van. After a few blocks of chasing, Kanlica lost control of his vehicle striking the three teenagers who were walking down the side of the road, killing a fifteen year old girl.

It is clear that both parties involved share some of the blame and both could have attempted to solve the dispute in a way that was not only more civil, but would have saved an innocent life. Many unscrupulous locksmiths have been caught using tactics which they give one low price over the phone, then increase the total charge once the service is completed, otherwise known as bait and switch. As more details about this story become available about the start of the chase, it will be easier to determine exactly who is to blame for this tragic occurrence. Either way no amount of money should be worth putting the life of an innocent bystander in jeopardy.

For now Phila-Locksmith employees will keep the family of Reina As-Salaam, the teenager killed in the accident, in our thoughts and we sympathize with their loss. It is important for all drivers to ensure not only the safety of themselves while on the road, but also the safety of everyone that they are sharing that road with.

Elderly Man Robbed Inside of Chase Bank

(VIA KOCO Oklahoma City) – In late March while out running daily errands an elderly man, Arthur Washington, did not expect the fiasco to unfold that did. from Oklahoma City, Mr. Washington was just taking a normal Tuesday afternoon trip to the bank when a thief tried to use one moment of lost concentration to gain access to almost all of Mr. Washington’s valuables. While at the bank Arthur went into a representative’s office, he left his house and car keys on the bank’s counter. With this opportunity a man in the lobby walked up to the counter and stole Mr. Washington’s key ring. Once in possession of the key ring, the thief went to Mr. Washington’s car, but rather than take his car the thief took some papers from the car’s glove box. Mr. Washington may have counted himself as lucky that his vehicle was not stolen, but this thief was one step ahead.

Using the papers that he had gotten from Arthur Washington’s car, the thief was able to identify the home that Mr. Washington lived in. This is an obvious security concern because that same thief also had the keys to Arthur Washington’s home. A few days following the theft, Mr. Washington’s wife heard someone outside of their home at 2 A.M.

‘the Cadillac is in the garage, but we have the key to the garage’ – Suspected Thief

 

After hearing this outside of his window Mr. Washington went to call police, but the thieves quickly disappeared. At this point Mr. Washington did something that he should have done immediately following the theft. This was to have all of the locks which he lost keys to re-keyed. Re-keying is a service that a locksmith can complete for you, which not only prevents lost or stolen keys from being used to open your locks, but saves you money when compared to changing the entire locks. Rather than worry about what this thief was doing with his keys, Mr. Washington now has peace of mind that his home and valuables are safe. The thief has still not been caught or identified, so it was in Arthur’s best interest to have everything re-keyed. For some vehicles the cost can be high to have an ignition changed and doors re-keyed, but compare that to the headache that a stolen car is and the cost is minuscule. Think that an ignition change and lock re-key for your car maybe too expensive? In order to save money talk with one of the Phila-Locksmiths about the options of having your doors re-keyed, without changing the ignition. The thief would still have a working ignition key, but if you keep the doors locked and they are re-keyed that thief will not be able to access your car. This is a money saving option and is not as secure as having your ignition changed as well.

This story should be a lesson to both Arthur Washington and other individuals that re-keying your vehicle and locks when your keys are stolen is a top priority. Luckily for Mr. Washington, and his wife, they were able to scare the thieves off the first time, but next time it would be wise to have a re-keying service completed immediately, especially for any exterior doors to your home, which would at the very least, help secure your home.

College Evicted in San Jose

(VIA KTVU) At Phila-Locksmith our technicians occasionally are called upon to complete a re-key during an eviction, but a locksmith in San Jose had a huge job on his hands when Bryman College was forced to be evicted. Needlessly to say students were shocked at the fact that the institution they paid tuition to could not pay their rent. The San Jose college, Bryman, also has three other campus location none of which they were forced to evict from. Some students voiced their outrage to KTVU in San Jose of how shocked they were not only at the eviction, but the fact that the school gave them  no warning .

“‘How do you not pay rent for a building?’ asked 20-year-old student Amanda Caleira. ‘Words can’t even describe it. That’s how mad I am.'”

Whenever a eviction occurs, the local Sheriff is called to the scene to ensure that the current occupants are either off the premises or will be. A locksmith is brought by the Sheriff so that he can re-key the locks on the home, as well as initially open the door to the home. The locksmith is called to complete a re-key to ensure that the previous tenant will no longer have access to the home. This saves the owner of the property money when compared to a lock change because only the cylinder is being adjusted when a re-key is completed.

locked out

Monday, May 19th, Santa Clara County Police executed an eviction at Bryman College.

KTVU reached out to Bryman College to ask for an explanation for why the eviction occurred and the college said that no one was available to comment on the situation. It will be interesting to see exactly what type of explanation the college will be able to put together for this inexcusable mishap. Hopefully students will be offered an acceptable ending from the college and the locksmith will be able to return to provide administrators and teachers with their keys so that the college can get back to educating students. No of our locksmiths in Philadelphia have been called to evict an entire college or school building and it would be quote the interesting scene if the same thing were to happen at, say, University of Pennsylvania!

Bump Keys Still Pose a Security Threat

(VIA 5ABC – Cleveland) Recently the local ABC affiliate in Cleveland has brought to light a problem which we have previous detailed in our blog, and that is the security risk that bump keys pose. With the easy availability of information through the internet, it is extremely easy for individuals to get instructions on how to pick or bump keys. This can give criminals easy access to your home if you do not properly protect yourself. In just a matter of seconds a criminal, even an unskilled one, can be inside of your home with no signs of forced entry with the assistance of a bump key. This begs the question, what can be done to help prevent your home from being infiltrated using bump keys and lock picks?

Have Bump Proof or Resistant Locks Installed

Previously we specifically detailed the NightWatch deadbolt which is manufactured by Master Lock. This lock has a mechanism which allows for the cylinder to be moved when the lock is engaged and makes it impossible for the lock to be opened from the outside, even if that intruder has a key. This type of lock can be the perfect way to make sure that your home is secure even as you sleep. There are a range of bump proof and resistant locks which are on the market, speaking with one of our professional technicians and describing your needs is the best way to find out which lock is right for your home. Kwikset offers a unique key way which makes it nearly impossible for criminals to compromise with a lock pick or bump key. In addition to these types of locks, many models of smart locks do not have a traditional key way which is exposed, so moving your home into the 21st century with a smart lock can help to eliminate this security gap which occurs in traditional locks.

Use a Secondary Lock

Like the steering wheel club which predated the transponder car key for automotive security, adding a secondary lock to your existing deadbolt can ensure that someone using a lock pick or bump key can not enter your home. A secondary lock such as a latch or chain lock can ensure that no one is able to enter your home. However there is an inconvenience with using a secondary lock, you would be unable to exit through that door and must use a side or garage exit to leave.

Both of these are effective ways to prevent criminals with lock picks or bump keys from entering your home and the locksmith Philadelphia that we offer is glad to assist you in having either installed. He can come to your location with a range of locks that vary in security and features so that you can find the lock that offers you the perfect combination of affordability and security. Whether a break-in has just occurred and you need to have your security back on line as soon as possible, or you want to find out more about the advantages of our locksmith services, make one easy call to Phila-Locksmith and our customer service team will be more than happy to take anyone of your questions.

 

BMW Introduces the Car Key of the Future

BMW has devulged information about their brand new 2014 I8, which is rich in technology and fancy fesatures which have pushed it’s price tag well over $100,000. Specifically the car key for this new sports car is an outstanding technological achievement. When first looking at this new BMW car key you see that it does not actually look like much of a car key at all. With push to start capabilities there is no need for a traditional turning key, but that is just the beginning of what technology the BMW I8 has to offer. The car key will feature an LCD screen display right in the middle of the fob. This screen will display helpful information to the driver such as how far their car is able to go until their next charge or refill is needed.

BMW i8 car key

Is this the early stages of what all future car keys will look like?

As you can see in the picture above the fob fits right into a display in the center of the car’s console. The center console also charges the fob and uses bluetooth connectivity to communicate, which means that battery life of your car key should not be an issue. The BMW i8 is set to go on sale at some point this year, but to the tune of well over $100,000, this BMW is in the top tier of automobiles. It will be interesting to see how locksmiths attempt to catch up with technology like this once it becomes cheaper and catches on to the main stream. Many automotive locksmiths had difficultly adjusting to transponder car keys, which are now giving way to push to start systems. These push to start systems only seem as though they will leave less locksmiths able to complete replacement car keys, but Phila-Locksmith will continue to train and arm our technicians with everything possible to ensure they can offer a large range of replacement car keys; whether it is a transponder car keys, push to start or a traditional key.

A Locksmith in England Gives Back How He Can

(VIA Plymouth Herald) One locksmith across the pond is giving back in one way that he knows how. Paul Bushell owner of Sir Fix-a-lot in Plymouth, England has found a way for him to give back as he works as a locksmith. Whenever Mr. Bushell completes a lock change or safe services that leaves him with surplus materials, he scraps the metal and donates any proceeds that he receives from scrapping. Having these materials trashed is an option, but Mr. Bushell is aware not only of the environmental impact it can have, but also how appreciative the charity is of the donation provided.

“‘I’ll get maybe £15 to £20 a safe, it’s better than binning them, which is not good for the environment, and there’s a charity that can benefit'” – Paul Bushell Owner Sir Fix-a-lot

After donating to a few charities Mr. Bushell has decided to consistently donate to the charity Jeremiah’s Journey which helps children with bereaved or terminally ill parents. One of the charity’s managers has confirmed Mr. Bushell’s involvement and is excited about having the prospect of further donations in the future.

“Mr Bushell last week donated £150 from scrapped metal, and added: ‘We are thrilled. We’re a self-funded charity and rely very much on the public; without donations we can’t keep going'” – Laura Goodchild, Jeremiah’s Journey

We are proud to hear of another locksmith during their part to give back to the same community that helps them thrive as a company. Mr. Bushell’s contributions certainly go to a great cause and we at Phila-Locksmith as well as all of our locksmith Philadelphia give him a round of applause for helping those less fortunate than he is, even if it is across the Atlantic Ocean.