A Locksmith Might Get Shot In The Line Of Duty
To an outside observer, a working locksmith doesn't look much different than a working burglar. And for good reason -- the skills of a locksmith translate directly to burglary. So good locksmiths spend a lot of time vetting their new employees. Harvey notes that in Australia, "In most workplaces, an apprentice will spend three to four years working beside a tradesperson to learn how to judge these types of situations and make their own calls."
Caleb explained how it works in his state, Tennessee: "We have to get ID numbers for any lockouts we do, as well as re-keying houses and making keys to cars we also have to match the ID to the name on the title to make sure that person is allowed to get keys for the vehicle/house ..."
"What's with the getup?"
"I'm ... uhhhh ... cold."
For instance, this attempted burglary was foiled because the locksmith the burglar hired grew suspicious and called the police. Good locksmiths like Caleb are always worried about unwittingly helping to commit a crime:
"The worst job I had to refuse was pretty recent. A lady locked herself out of a house an hour and a half away from us, but she had been in process of selling her house and it fell through, and she didn't have the paperwork with her to prove she was the owner of the house -- no recent mail to the house, and she had an out-of-state ID. We had to turn her down because she had no proof at 10 o'clock at night. I felt bad that I couldn't help her get back in the house, but the law is the law. And if we don't follow it, we can lose our license or get sued."
There's really no way to train for the "Looks like you're sleeping on the porch tonight" conversation.
But upstanding locksmiths run afoul of law enforcement sometimes. Jim even had a cop pull a gun on him once while trying to get into a foreclosed home on behalf of the bank that owned it: "I tried the front door, then walked around to the back door. I'm sure a neighbor saw me trying to get into the home and called 911. When I came back round the house, I was carrying my tools and the deputy walking up mistook my cordless drill as a gun and drew his gun. I dropped the drill, then went to clean out my pants ..."
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