(Via Newson6) Early Sunday morning an Oklahoma locksmith responded to an emergency lockout call in Tulsa. When the locksmith arrived on scene he was met by one man, Alexandro Valero, who claimed to be locked out of his home at about 8 AM. The locksmith assisted the man by opening the door, but once the door was finally opened it revealed that there were actually people in the home at that time. Those individuals happened to be the actual homeowners. At this point Mr. Valero ran, leaving the homeowners and locksmith likely confused. Valero returned to the residence later to apologize and was arrested by police and is facing first degree burglary charges. Luckily the homeowners were there to thwart this burglary attempt, but the truth is it should not have occurred in the first place. Additional details could emerge, but it will be interesting to see if the locksmith had asked for identification or for some type of verification that it was Mr. Valero’s home.
Before opening the door, the locksmith should have asked for identification so that he would have been able to match the customer’s ID address to the address he is completing the unlock service at. In some cases, like a rental unit, this may not be entirely possible. A locksmith should still be able to verify that it is indeed that individual’s residence by asking for a utility bill with a name that matches that individual’s identification. In a situation where a customer is unable to provide this information, a locksmith should contact authorities to ensure that they would not be liable for a theft in this type of scenario. Situations such as these are another reason that lawmakers are looking to clamp down on unlicensed locksmiths. An unlicensed locksmith would, theoretically, be less likely to take preventative steps that ensure the individual they are unlocking the door for is a resident, since they are less wary of any repercussions.
What can you do?
One way that you can prevent your home from being struck by a burglar like this is to use a secondary lock on the home’s exterior door. A locksmith will not be able to pick the secondary lock, which would raise additional red flags that this home may not belong to the individual claiming to be a “resident” such as Mr. Valero. Another way to prevent the proliferation of unlicensed locksmiths, who may put you at risk of a scheme like this, is to always choose a local professional locksmith to complete services for you. By frequenting a professional more often, you can help to limit the amount of unprofessional “locksmiths” who are operating in the area.
A story such as this can be a good reminder and learning moment for a locksmith who may not be constantly checking a customer’s information. By taking just a few extra seconds to ensure that they are completing service for an authorized individual the locksmith can not only limit their own liability, but save headache and hassle for the individual being burglarized. As for potential burglars who think that this may be a good method for breaking into a home, more often than not, you will find yourself behind bars like Mr. Valero.