Update: Dewayne Fulsom Acquitted in Locksmith Murder

(VIA TulsaWorld.com) After 21 months behind bars, Dewayne Fulsom is a free man once again after being acquitted of first degree murder and shooting with intent to kill in relation to a locksmith who was killed while on the clock in 2013. After a seven day trial, and deliberation which lasted four and a half hours, the jury of five women and seven men found that the defendant was not guilty. Mr. Fulsom was identified by one witness on the scene, a friend of the locksmith who was killed, however; the jury did not find this to be enough evidence to convict the defendant. Phila-Locksmith has previously covered the details of this Tulsa locksmith murder, which deliberated on August 26th of 2015.

Locksmith’s Family Speaks Out

The family of the slain locksmith, Sebastian Geiger, spoke to Oklahoma’s Newson6 regarding their feelings about the trial’s outcome. The family expressed their sadness as well as their disagreement with the verdict which was reached by the jury. They spoke of Sebastian Geiger as a motivated man, who was looking to leave his locksmith job in order to pursue vocational school. Additionally, his parents spoke of his enjoyment in being an uncle. His parents also spoke of the danger which Sebastian faced, telling Newson6 that this was not the first time that Sebastian was faced with a firearm during the performance of service. This danger was one of the reasons why Sebastian was looking to move from his locksmith job to vocational school.

Whichever way that a third party looks at this case, the result is unfortunate. A young man was left dead and a family is grieving looking for justice. Additionally a legally innocent man was kept in jail for nearly two years of his life. However, with so many witnesses on the scene, but only one who was willing, or able, to identify Dewayne Fulsom as the shooter it was impossible for the jury to reach a guilty verdict. Despite their son having passed away, the Geiger’s believe that Sebastian has gone to a better place; because they also believe that without his defensive actions that his friend who was with him that night may have reached the same fate had those actions not been taken.

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Oklahoma Jury Deliberating in Locksmith Murder

(VIA FOX23) A jury in Oklahoma will soon determine the fate of a man accused of shooting a locksmith to death over a dispute of the price. The defendant, Dewayne Fulsom, is accused of shooting locksmith Sebastian Geiger after a violent confrontation. A jury of five women and seven men will have to decide if Dewayne Fulsom was the man who pulled the trigger of the gun used to fatally shoot Geiger.

In 2013 a man, Deonte Miller, called a locksmith because he had locked his keys inside of the vehicle. After about an hour the locksmith, Sebastian Geiger, arrived on scene to complete the service. In order to complete the unlock service, the locksmith requested payment of $90. What ensued was a confrontation over the price of the service. Witnesses claim at this point that the locksmith retrieved a gun from his vehicle. Following this, there are varying accounts of what has occurred. According to the prosecutor, the locksmith was inside of his vehicle with his weapon and at one point fired a single bullet, however; he was struck multiple times which resulted in his death. One witness, a close friend of Sebastian Geiger, identified Dewayne Fulsom as the shooter. Mr. Fulsom claims that he was not the individual who pulled the trigger. The defense will rely on the fact that despite there being multiple witnesses on the scene, only one identified Dewayne Fulsom as the shooter. Deliberation on this case began on Wednesday August 26th.

Locksmith Hazards

Locksmiths can be tasked with going to dangerous neighborhoods, sometimes in the middle of the night. Due to the nature of their business, potential thieves believe that locksmiths carry a large amount of cash on their person. This poses a threat which locksmiths must be aware of. However, it is not always true that locksmiths carry a large amount of cash on their person. With the cost of payment processing on the decline, it has become easier for locksmiths to accept debit and credit cards as a form of payment. In addition to this, Phila-Locksmith makes it a policy that our technicians only hold a small amount of physical cash on their person throughout the day. The reason for this is the safety of our technicians. For obvious reasons, having a firearm on the locksmith’s person while performing services is extremely undesirable. Since they are tasked with meeting someone who simply placed a call and provided very few details to our office, we prioritize the safety of our technicians so that they are comfortable enough to offer unmatched locksmith services.

Personal Information a Liability during Auto Break Ins

An obviously frustrating experience, having your vehicle broken into can also have additional ramifications than just the loss of any valuables which may be inside. Savvy thieves can use the information inside of your vehicle to create even more trouble for you in the future. This is what makes locking your vehicle, as well as taking other preventative measures, is crucial to avoiding the headache which can result from having your vehicle broken into. We will provide you with tips to prevent your vehicle from being targeted for a break-in as well as the personal information in your vehicle which should be protected.

Protecting Personal Information in Your Car

When individuals think about vehicle break-ins their main concern is that their vehicle, or the valuables inside, will be stolen. These are legitimate concerns, but there is also the danger to personal security posed during automotive break-ins. Inside of the average person’s glove box, there is a wide array of information which is useful to thieves who are looking to get their hands on your valuables. One piece of information is your vehicle registration. Someone who breaks into your vehicle can use the address listed on your vehicle registration to find your home. If your vehicle happens to be parked away from your home, the thief is now aware that your home is vulnerable at the moment. This can lead to an additional break-in at your home, before you are even aware that the automotive theft has occurred. There are a few ways that you can protect personal information which is left in your car. Locking the glove box would be the most effective method. For those who are unable to lock their glove box, placing sensitive information in a hidden area can be a great way to protect yourself during a vehicle break-in. However, the best way to protect that personal information in your vehicle is to avoid making yourself an easy target.

automotive theft

Thieves are much more likely to target an open door than to smash your window.

We have previously detailed ways to avoid being a target of auto break-ins, however; repetition is the key to learning. With this in mind we will go over some of the ways to avoid having your vehicle targeted. The first step is to ensure that you do not have any valuables in plain view. This allows a thief to know it is worth breaking it your vehicle if you have a valuable sitting in plain view. The second step, is to ensure that you are locking your doors. While it can be easy to forget, locking your car door can cut down on the chance that your vehicle is broken into because there is no easy entry. If you have lost your door key and have no way to unlock the door, contact an automotive locksmith to have the key replaced immediately. Lastly, parking your vehicle in a well lit area can also help to ward off automotive thieves. Without the cover of darkness, some thieves will not be willing to risk entering your vehicle.

In order to properly protect yourself from automotive theft the easiest thing to do is to lock your locks. Both your door locks and the glove boys lock should be armed when you are not in the vehicle. If a thief manages to obtain your personal information they can not only break-in to your home, but also potentially steal your identity. Of course, there are other actions which can be taken to prevent your vehicle from becoming a target, but the most important aspect of your vehicle’s security should be consistently locking your car’s doors.

Philadelphia Councilwoman Brown has City Car Stolen

The Philadelphia Daily News is reporting that Philadelphia Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown had her city-owned vehicle stolen from outside of her home in Wynnefield. This past Sunday morning, Councilwoman Reynolds Brown noticed that her city-owned, and taxpayer funded, vehicle was not parked along the curb where she had left it. She reported the vehicle stolen to police who eventually were able to locate the vehicle when another individual called in about a possible overnight vehicle theft. This Philadelphia citizen was awoken at about 4 AM Monday morning to the sound of his vehicle’s alarm. The citizen saw three people running and called police. When police arrived they were able to track down the three individuals, they determined that they had been entering unlocked vehicles to take any unattended valuables inside. One of the suspects who was apprehended had a car key on her person. After questioning, police were able to locate that vehicle and determined that the vehicle in question was the city owned vehicle stolen from out front of Councilwoman Reynolds Brown’s home.

councilwoman reynolds brown

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown is pictured above.

Why were the thieves successful?

Councilwoman Reynolds Brown said that she left her vehicle on the curb outside of her on Saturday night, by Sunday morning the vehicle was gone. Did the thieves use some type of advanced technology to copy her key? No. It seems that the Councilwoman not only left her city owned vehicle unlocked, but left the car keys inside as well. This offered the thieves the opportunity to easily take her vehicle without being detected. Luckily for the Councilwoman, these thieves pressed their luck and were eventually caught while committing another theft.

How to Protect Yourself from Car Theft

There are some very simple tips that you can follow to avoid having your vehicle both targeted and stolen. For any vehicle parked curbside, or on a driveway for that matter, should be locked when the vehicle is not in use. The car owner should also avoid leaving a spare set of keys in the vehicle at all costs. Even if your vehicle is locked, if someone shatters a window or uses some other form of entry, they would be able to use your key to drive away from the vehicle. In order to prevent your vehicle from being targeted, make sure to keep all valuables out of sight. Whether it is a large amount of change, GPS device or cell phone, a valuable item will draw a thief’s attention to your vehicle. Taking these preventative measures will reduce the chance that your vehicle is targeted just like Councilwoman Reynolds Brown’s vehicle was. Fortunately for the Councilwoman, and taxpayers, police were able to recover the vehicle and get it back where it belongs.

Uber for Locksmiths Coming to New York

Over a year ago, Phila-Locksmith detailed how the convenience of Uber’s mobile application could be utilized for locksmiths. Enter LockedOut, a mobile application which operates in the same way that Uber does, created by Ray Wang. For those unfamiliar Uber allows for a user to request a driver, similar to a cab, to their location while also tracking the GPS location of the driver and offering an accurate estimated time of arrival (ETA). For anyone waiting for a locksmith, having an exact location and ETA would be extremely beneficial in deciding which service provider to choose. However, there are serious hurdles for LockedOut to overcome in order to be successful in a very competitive industry.

How LockedOut Works

In order to access LockedOut, the user would need a smart device which has the ability to use internet enabled applications. The user would download the application before they were in need of any service. Once the user is locked out of their home, or car, they would be able access the application and request a locksmith. In beta testing, LockedOut is offering a flat rate unlock fee which is $75. After you have agreed to the price and requested the locksmith, a map appears on the screen with the GPS location that your locksmith is currently at and a real-time ETA of when he will arrive at your home. All-in-all the LockedOut application seems like a perfect tool to fight price gouging and false wait times in the locksmith industry, however; there are some clear issues that the application will have to deal with before being viable against stiff competition.

The Drawbacks of the LockedOut Application

LockedOut is great in theory, but how successful can it be in challenging an already competitive industry? One of the first issues with LockedOut is inherent in the technological state which LockedOut exists. Since LockedOut is a smart phone application, the user would have to download the application to their phone in order to use it. If this does not happen before the user is locked out, they would likely call a locksmith using a more traditional medium. Since being locked out of your home, or car, tends to happen in unforeseen and unwanted times it is highly unlikely that the individual would want to download an application to their phone rather than calling a locksmith directly. Additionally, the flat rate cost of their lock out service could be another potential drawback. Despite the fact that many locksmiths charge much more than $75 to unlock doors, it will be tough to overcome the service call advertising of many locksmiths. Customers may see the $10 service call for the locksmith and opt for that choice over the $75 choice. Unfortunately for those individuals, it may end up costing much more for the $10 option than the $75 option. These are just a few of the minor issues that LockedOut will have to deal with in order to build brand recognition that would allow them to flourish as a lead company.

LockedOut seems to have a good idea going, however; industry competition will be a tough wall to climb in order to become profitable. It remains to be seen whether LockedOut will be able to compete as a mobile application against locksmiths who use other online methods to attract customers. The fact that customers are getting a verified professional with a GPS locator would surely be a benefit, but it will remain to be seen if customers will be attracted to an application which may only benefit them a few times per year.

Chinese Mother Refuses Help for Child Locked in Car

Last month, a mother in China accidentally locked her child in her BMW. We have chronicled how common it is for parents to accidentally locked their child inside of a vehicle and the dangers of doing so. However, this situation is slightly different from some of the others which we have examined. Generally, once the parent has realized that their child is the car, they will do anything to get the child out as quickly as possible. In this case, firefighters were the first on scene, but the mother in this case did not want them to help her.

‘Wait for the Locksmith’

In most cases, a parent would have the first person available help to free their child. After all, it was a hot summer day and the child locked inside of the car was already beginning to sweat. Obviously, for this mother, that was not the top concern on her mind. She told firefighters on the scene to wait for a locksmith to arrive to open the BMW door. She claims this because she did not want them to break the window of her car, or do some other type of damage to the vehicle. At this moment the mother was valuing her BMW more than the safety of her own child who was locked in the vehicle.

The woman’s car keys were left in the vehicle, so all signs point to this occurrence being an accident. However, it is appalling that once firefighters arrived on scene the mother did not want the child removed immediately. On a hot day, the temperature inside of a vehicle can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. Firefighters on scene when this child was locked in the car, honored the woman’s request despite the child crying and sweating inside of the vehicle. However, once the child passed out due to the high temperatures inside of the car, firefighters did break the window in order to retrieve the child.

Mother Speaks Out

Following the reporting of this story, the internet masses were quick to condemn this mother. Once reports were released, the mother of the child spoke out in defense of herself. She said that the reason she wanted the locksmith to open the door was that she was concerned that breaking a window may injure or scare her young child. The mother even claims that before the firefighters had arrived on the scene that she had attempted to break the window herself using a stone. Her response may go unheard in many internet circles which were quick to condemn and shame the mother.

No matter how these events went down, the whole situation is concerning. The child was locked in the vehicle nearly an hour before firefighters showed up, meaning that the mother is lucky to still have her child with her. In a situation like this, it would be highly recommended to break a window well before the hour time frame. When breaking a window, the window furthest from the child should be broken to avoid the chance that glass shards were to injure the child. In the United States, many police officers are able to open car doors, so it is wise to ask one if they are in the area. All-in-all, the key to keeping a child safe is a quick response when the child is locked in the car. For every moment that the child is locked in the car, the interior becomes that much hotter.