Category Archives: News

New Zealand Couple ‘Close to Death’ After Lock-In

Advancements in technology were meant to not only make our lives more convenient, but also more secure. That is what car manufacturers had in mind when they began offering ‘keyless’ remote fobs in newer model vehicle, rather than your traditionally cut key blade. For one New Zealand couple, this advancement in technology was nearly deadly, although; their keyless entry fob was not technically at fault. The elderly couple became trapped in their Mazda 3 after leaving their keyless fob outside of the vehicle in their garage.

The couple believed that without their keyless fob, that they would be unable to operate the locks on their car. After 13 hours inside of the car they were finally rescued by neighbors. When the neighbors found the couple, the Smiths, Mrs. Smith was already unconscious and Mr. Smith was struggling to breathe. Emergency responders said that, during that time period, the couple had used up all the oxygen inside of their vehicle and the whole situation would have likely been fatal if the could had spent another half hour inside of their locked vehicle. After being told that they could have manually used the door handle to open the car door, the couple was left slightly embarrassed. They still believe that the car salesman should have given a more detailed explanation, so that they would have known that manually unlocking the door was an option.

The General Manager of Mazda New Zealand, Glenn Harris, said that it was not a flaw in the design of the car that left this couple locked inside. He stated that for any technology like their keyless fob, there is always a manual override to ensure safety, but that salespeople should be sure to explain the technology in its entirety to customers. The hope being that an explanation of all of the features would avoid a situation like this in the future.

Why Have Manufacturers Turned to Keyless Ignitions?

In their continued quest to provide increased security and convenience to customers, car manufacturers have turned to keyless ignitions in their newest models. Keyless ignitions are much more difficult for an automotive thief to compromise than your traditional car key. With a traditional bladed key, it is possible for a thief to copy your existing key to steal your vehicle. Since a keyless ignition fob uses a transponder chip rather than a keyblade, the thief would need a programmed fob in order to steal the vehicle. This is next to impossible for a thief to do and also very rare for even a locksmith to complete. Programming a fob not only requires access to the vehicle’s computer, but also a good deal of training and expensive tools. This added security, in addition to the convenience that a fob offers, are the main reasons that car manufacturers have made a shift to keyless ignitions.

It makes sense that manufacturers want to increase the amount of security through any means possible, but they must also realize that their vehicle sales are to a diverse range of people. Not only are tech-savvy people of the younger generation going to be purchasing these vehicles, but also individuals who may not be as technically inclined as others. This means making a commitment to teaching customers about new technology crucial to avoid situations like this from occurring in the future.

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Locksmith Discovers Millions in Residential Safe

(VIA NEWS.COM.AU) A locksmith in the United States came across, what had to be, the most valuable amount of objects in a safe that he has ever seen. David Molick, a locksmith in Houston, Texas, was the man who opened a residential safe which was home to about $2.5 million (USD) worth of golden coins. It is rare for a locksmith to find such a haul, especially in a residential safe, and the safe itself presented quite a challenge for the professional locksmith. Fortunately for the family which was in possession of the safe, Mr. Molick was able to get inside to retrieve their valuables.

In early November, Mr. Molick was called upon to open a residential safe. This is quite the common service for a professional locksmith to complete, but not in these circumstances. For many locksmiths it is common practice to request an image of the safe before going to the location of the safe to complete service. This process is completed out of courtesy to the customer. In some cases, the locksmith may be unable to open the safe which is requested, so to save that customer time and money they determine if they are able to open that safe before they ever show up to the customer’s location. In this case, Mr. Molick noticed that not only had someone attempted to pry the safe open previous, but that the safe itself was a high security model.

High security is a light way to put it. Mr. Molick spent over 20 hours drilling the safe in order to open it for his customer. The safe presented quite a challenge; in addition to the high security locking mechanisms that the safe had, it was also surrounded by concrete which was over 15 cm thick. This made it quite the difficult task for this American locksmith. Fortunately for the owners of the safe, the locksmith’s hard work paid off and they were able to retrieve over $2.5 million worth of coins from the safe. As is common practice in the United States when valuables of this worth are recovered, they were first turned over to the police. Houston police later released the valuables to the family which had originally brought the safe to Mr. Molick. The family said that their father had been collecting the coins, but had passed away recently.

Recovering such a high amount of valuables must be a welcomed holiday surprise for this family, especially considering that they had originally planned to scrap the residential safe. It remains to be seen if David Molick will receive any type of cut from the valuables that have been recovered, but the family must appreciate the hard work that this locksmith had completed in order to recover their valuables for them. For locksmiths like our technician at Pronto Locksmiths, opening a safe can be quite the adventure and seeing the surprise on many people’s face when the valuables were recovered is quite the nice reward for a locksmith who enjoys a real challenge.


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Locked Out Darwin Resident Attempts to Rappel Into Apartment

(VIA ABC) In a scene that could be taken straight out of the Mission Impossible movies, a man in his mid-20’s was ready to rappel down the side of his apartment block after locking himself out of his apartment. Early Tuesday evening, police received a call about a suspicious man on top of an apartment block ready to jump. Once police arrived on the scene they could see the man attempting to count the number of floors and preparing to jump. Wasting no time, the police rushed to the apartment roof to discover what was going on. To their surprise, once of the roof, they witnessed the man with a rope tied around his waist, with the other end tied around a pole on top of the apartment building.

After some quick urging, police were able to get the man to back away from the building’s edge. Much to the police officers’ surprise, the reason that the man was attempting to jump from the roof was to rappel onto his balcony to re-enter his apartment. Fortunately police were able to get there before this Darwin man had a chance to try his plan in live action. By simply not wanting to pay for the services of a locksmith, the man was putting his life, and possibly the lives of others, in danger. The police did say, “to the man’s credit”, that he had decided that the stunt was too dangerous to pull off and likely would not have gone through with the action anyway.

man locked out repels

Having at least seven floors to contend with, this man’s daring reentry to his apartment could have easily turned to a tragedy.

Obviously there are much better options than trying to rappel down the side of a large apartment building, and calling a locksmith is chief among them. Darwin police Duty Superintendent Louise Jorgensen gave the following alternatives, “having a spare key or utilising the services of a locksmith would be a better idea in the future should he unfortunately lock his keys inside again”. While we highly recommend calling your local locksmith whenever you are locked out, there are certain security concerns that having extra spare keys can lead to. Leaving a key hidden outside of your residence is an easy way to give a potential thief access to your home. Thieves are aware of some of the common hiding spots for spare keys and could easily find your spare and access your home. Instead, leave your spare key with a trusted neighbor, or a nearby family member. Doing this will allow you to keep your home, business or apartment safe while also eliminating the chance you have to rappel down your apartment building. While Pronto Locksmiths does not offer services in the Northern Territory we hope that any residents in Brisbane or Gold Coast who are locked out decide to call our professional technician to complete their emergency locksmith service, rather than having to put themselves in danger. To learn ways to help protect yourself from being locked out, review our blog posts, or call to speak with our experienced locksmith.

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