There are many careers that are regarded as dangerous, but have any of you ever consider the Locksmith as one of them.
Some years ago just after I had just started out in this trade, I heard about a locksmith working near my old homeland, Hackney who had attended repossession and unfortunately had been shot dead. I gather that the warrant officer had as per standard operating procedures, advised the occupants of the intention to enter the property as they would not open the door, then the locksmith approached the door and voices from inside told him not to attempt to unlock the lock. The locksmith continued and once the lock was picked, he opened the door to see a man holding a shot gun at waist height.
Unfortunately for the locksmith this was the last thing he ever saw.
When I was a locksmith working in the Midlands, I used to carry out repossessions and enforcement entries on behalf of organisations such as NatWest, Halifax, HSBC, British Gas and others all authorised by the courts. Whilst there, we always opened doors with extreme caution and indeed the warrant officers we worked with always wore stab jackets. Unfortunately, I did not have one which was great considering I was the one in front!
One place that we regularly went to was a very large block of flats in Nottingham. We had to remember never to park next to the flats, as items such as fridges or old TV’s used to end up embedded in the roof or windscreen of your van. Amusing now, but definitely not at the time!
Unfortunately, only last week, albeit in the US, a property manager was gunned down whilst carrying out repossession with a locksmith in Norris Canyon Estates in San Ramon. Mr Ghoneim ignored requests to open the door. Instead, as the locksmith started to drill out the lock while a property manager stood to the side, the occupant fired one round through it missing the locksmith but hitting the property manager in the leg. He then barricaded himself inside his foreclosed home sparking standoff with police and swat teams.
The suspect surrendered around 6 p.m. on Wednesday, after a SWAT vehicle rammed his door and sprayed tear gas into his home.
And to think, the worst I have come across here in Cornwall is being attacked by a slobbering dog and long may it stay that way.