"Crazy" Stories from Our Customers

To help us confirm that our new customers are really locksmiths, one of the things we ask them to tell us is a good locksmith story from their past. Here are some of those for your enjoyment...

Went to unlock a truck, make keys for the truck, and make keys for his camper that was parked near by. The customer had looked everywhere with no luck in finding the keys. Got done making keys, customer paid and yelled at his dog "Let's go!". The dog jumped down from the tailgate and there were the keys. The dog had been laying on them the whole time. —MB

The Weirdest call was on a Halloween Night In Richmond, Va. I Went on call to let Customers Boyfriend Out off His Apt. According to His Girlfriend His Land Lord came by earlier in the day to replace a Faulty Double cylinder Deadbolt That was on a Front door of a Multi unit Building after he had installed the New Lock He Knocked on all the residents doors and Left them a New Key, That is all of them that were home, My customer was Fast asleep and did not receive the new key and his Landlord left And Locked the exit door behind him. Some Hours Later when my Customer Woke up from his Beauty Sleep he found himself locked in. So his girlfriend called me and sais they were Late for A Halloween Party and Could I come and Get Him Out. When I arrived his Girlfriend was dressed and looked just Like Elvira & There he stood on the inside of the locked door Dressed like Frankenstein, Green make up  flat top head and Bolts in the Neck. Front door had Large Mail slot so What I did was pass a Phillips screwdriver through the slot to him and He Says to me" What the Frick do you want me to do With this, I replied see those two littlie screws on the Deadbolt? Just unscrew them and You'll be out, Well you could see the light bulb go off in his head!!!     He SAYs " You're not going to charge me for this are you" Oh Yes I said . But I have a box full of tools in my apartment, Maaaan.  End of Story—DT

A man called me and said he was locked out of his car and it was running. When I got there his car was sitting in his driveway I said to him don't you have an extra key he said yes but it is in the glove box. I opened the car got paid and left. 2 weeks later I get the same call when get there I looked at him and said extra key in the glove box. He just looked at me and said nothing I opened the car he paid me shook my hand and said thank you. I never got a call from him again.

Had an elderly gentlemen come into the shop last week with only a latch and wanted me to re-key the latch.

The craziest experience I have ever had is when a customer wanted the old skeleton key locks rekeyed.  When I told him I could not do it he got irate, insisted, and said he would sue me for coming to his house and wasting his time. I told him if he could find a Locksmith that could do it I would pay the bill.—HS

The strangest service call I've been called on was shortly after I started on my own. I received a call regarding a lock that was jammed and the male calling party had broken the only two keys he had to the lock. when I arrived he escorted me to the master bedroom where his wife was attached to the brass headboard by a pair of cheap handcuffs. Covering the best she could I was able to manipulate the open and release her to freedom. To this day I occasionally see them and just smile knowing their secret of the past.—DD

The craziest locksmith customer experience I have ever had was a time I was called to repair a bedroom door in a dorm. The work order said the lock was broken and would not secure. I entered the suite and as i stuck my key in the bedroom door, the door casing on the inside of the frame fell on the students bed. The student failed to mention they had kicked in the door because they had forgot their keys that day. The student tried to convince me the door wasn't like that before I came over. I then pointed out the distinct foot print on the outside of the door.—JW

The craziest locksmith experience I ever had was probably the couple that met clandestinely deep into a wooded area.  They managed to lose the keys to the vehicle that they took off the beaten path to avoid detection.  This was before cell phones so it took a long time to find them.  Fortunately it was an easy car to fit a key to.  It must have taken them over an hour to walk somewhere and find a pay phone.  All I know is that they were sure glad to see me.  I hope they got home before their respective spouses missed them...—DW

The craziest experience???  There are many. They know more than we do. Example: Opening a ford explorer, easy right? Well the customer insisted on telling me how to do it. So after seeing he was not going to move away from the door, I put my tool away and went back to my van. Perfect timing. We had a deluge of cold rain. After the rain slowed, he came out from under the trees to my van (as I knew he would) and asked me to please do it my way. I did. He was in his vehicle 30 seconds later.—RS

Woman was getting ready to take shower, heard her cell-phone ringing out in the garage, went to retrieve it and locked herself out of the house naked. Fortunately, she had her phone to call me and a large plastic trash bag which she cut holes in to slip over her head and arms!—DP

Removed a padlock from a customers testicles in the emergency room.—HH

So get this... I quote this lady like $89 for an evening lock pick in San Francisco, nice neighborhood, old lady. I get the door open in 2 minutes, she's in the door right away and locks it behind her and tells me I'm too expensive for 2 minutes of work I need to go away. Says I'm trying to rip her off. She was quoted (by me) $89 on the phone, so there should have been NO surprises. I called the cops, they showed up an hour later to tell me it was a civil matter, nothing they could do. I told them that by law she has to show me her ID, otherwise who the hell knows who this was that had me break into some house? They go talk to her and check her ID for me but they refuse to give me any of her information! So on one hand, they tell me to take her to small claims court because "it's a civil matter", and on the other hand, I still don't even know this lady's name! I send the cops back in there to get me her info. She sends them back with a check written out for $89 to my amazement... and then she yells out the door as I'm walking away, "I'm going to cancel that check in the morning!" Of course the check bounces, which means I pay an additional fee... but dude, I'm not going to let this lady get away with it
so I have to pay more to file a small claims court case, then pay more to have her served...
A couple months later, after she's served and the court date is set, she calls me all sorry about how her husband had just passed away, blah, blah, blah. In all, she ended up paying me $175 or something for all of those fees. A lot of trouble on my part, but I made her pay for it in the end, that bitch. —Cary

I had a call by the police to open a door in the downtown of my city. I was picking the lock and when I was done I turned my head to the officer to tell him its done, and then I saw 5 policeman with bullet proof vests, and me in front at the door with just my t-shirt. Now I'm more careful about that kind of job.  :) —TV

the craziest customer experience I have had was rekeying a house for the owner when the estranged spouse showed up and started throwing everything in the yard that was in the garage. Police showed up, but it was an interesting 15 minutes. —BM

Craziest job had to be a house Re key after I was done with the job I was asked to check for hidden doors into the attic or from tunnels going under the house. Found out customer Re keyed the house because she was convinced that the builder's put hidden doors in her home to spy on her. —PM

take your pick... would probably have to say... the time we had a customer in here... that probably didn't like hearing what we had to say... * sorry... we can't cut that key... it says do not duplicate... or... sorry... you don't have the proper paperwork in order for us to generate a key to your vehicle... she became quite irritated... and started "hissing" at us.. over the counter.. with her 2 fingers.. =) —MS

Called out on a Sunday to gain access to the cash office of a grocery store. Best leverset will not open from either side. Passed a screwdriver through the window slot to the ladies inside and have them remove the screws from the bottom vent. After removing the vent, I crawl through and disassemble the lock and force back the broken latch. They both bolt out the door as soon as it is open. Come to find they were stuck for over five hours. Management had to page corporate maintenance, who had to page corporate loss prevention for approval to even call me. They had both headed directly to a restroom. —DF

I went out to do a auto lockout and when i got there the car was parked along a ditch. so I allways use the passenger side to unlock the car .well guess what the window was open.The customer could not belive it. —DW

2002 I received a request from a husband to unlock his wife's Chasity belt he had broken the key in the lock. I did not go because the Call was 90 miles one way -WR

I went with the sheriffs to a home on Hawaiian Homelands to assist with an eviction and the tenant set himself on fire in the front yard. Yep CRAZY. -RM

I was called out to a local jail in their vehicle loading bays where they loaded inmates up to go to court or on other transports. What happened was the guards were loading their van preparing for court transport 40 miles away at the Marshall's Office when they locked the keys in the van with approximately 8 or so inmates that were restrained and separated by the cage from accessing the keys. From the sounds of the inmates, they had been locked up in the transport van for sometime and started getting verbal with the guards and also rocking the van. Upon arrival to the facility I had to be searched and escorted through the 2 gates into the secure area and was only allowed to carry in the bare minimal tools with me to open it up. I chose the big easy with an inflatable wedge due to them not allowing me to carry in anything that may be used as a weapon or be used to open other locks. After opening the vehicle they had to unload the inmates, so they placed me behind another locked area and unloaded the inmates back inside the facility to verify they were still restrained and allow them to use the restroom.  I was kept on site for additional 15 minutes just waiting. When the van was reloaded and the guard was sitting in it, then I was escorted back through the gates. -BM

My craziest experience had to be when I went to cut a key for a lady who had rescheduled 5 times already. When I arrived at the address, the customer had come outside and explained that I needed to "Give her a ride" to the vehicle. Once I was cleared by dispatch to do so, I ended up driving 15 miles to the backside of a closed warehouse where her car was. She had proof the vehicle was her's so I cut the key and programmed it. As I was leaving, I saw her drive the car over a curb and into a stone pillar (the ones designed to prevent vehicles hitting a building). I have to say the whole experience had me a bit shaken and feeling uneasy the whole time. Later she called the office and asked why I "let her drive into the pillar." Our office had no idea what to do and I was told later about her call. I have to say that was the craziest locksmith experience I have ever had. -TH

Well about 2-3 years ago, I had a customer with a 2008 Lexus GS. He needed a replacement remote and key;  no problem, ordered from dealership.  I then called our sub-contractor that does the programing and laser cut/milling on that type.  We completed the job and everything was good. 2 weeks later he came in complaining that the remote/transponder stopped working, to which I confirmed that the key/remote he handed to me intact were not working.  I tried to change the battery, thinking that maybe the battery was the issue but it still didn't work.  Called my subcontractor, explained the situation and he comes by and does his thing and reprograms the remote.  In hindsight we should have checked the key portion.  4 days later  he comes by again, claiming it stopped working. This time our sub contractor was not available until later in the day.  He comes by again, and this time is suspicious because he opened the remote and noticed that the battery brand we had put in was different.  So he pulls out the key and tries it in the glove box, doesn't lock the glove box, opens the glove box, and is surprised to see a small padded envelope with a receipt from eBay for the purchase of 2 Lexus remotes which matched his car. We checked the other key, and it didn't work either.  We then confronted the customer and he admitted how he just  wanted each of the family members to be able to have key for the car to move it in and out of the driveway. We learned our lesson and now use a silver sharpie and make a unique mark inside of every remote and also our subcontractor told us he has new software to prevent this from happening again. The customer apologized to us and offered to pay for the services. -JC

One evening sometime past midnight I went to a apartment lockout. The customer had his keys but had a locked half deadbolt on the only entrance door. He had exited through his garage door without the opener to go on a bicycle ride thinking he had the key for the front door. So the garage door and entrance door were not really options without damage. Luckily, he
had a sliding glass patio door that was loose, loose enough I thought to get my old, mangled longreach car opening tool (that I keep for these situations) through to the latch handle. Looked like it wouldn't be too hard, I've done it before... So about half an hour later I'm still trying to get the %*$#*@! sliding glass door open when all of a sudden I hear "THIS IS THE POLICE, HANDS UP!" Apparently some good samaritan thought we were some really stupid criminals trying to break into this apartment in plain view of at least 20 other apartments, flashlights and cussing and all. I turn around when ordered and there are two police officers with their guns pointed at us. Thankfully I did not have a pick gun in my hand,  our local police have been a little trigger happy lately. So then I am told to climb out of the balcony and get down on the ground, in the grass with the sprinklers going of course. Now usually I require ID with a matching address for home lockouts, but this was one of the rare times I had not. The guy had a $7000 bicycle and was in full bicycling gear including cleats - not usually what you have when breaking into a place.  Plus he had the key to the other deadbolt on the door. Despite having the key to the apartment, since he didn't have ID with his current address on it, it took some time for the police to clear us, all the time I'm getting soaked on the lawn. After that I told the customer to find a large rock and throw it through his window! -SO

I arrived to a customer's call to make a new car key for a Jeep Cherokee 2002. when I arrived and saw the car, I noticed that there was a key on the roof of the car. Since the customer was short, he couldn't see the key up there. I asked him what the key looked like just to see if he was the actual owner, and returned it to him.  He thanked me and gave me a $200 tip just because of this.  -LG

We had an auction purchased home that an investor sent us to rekey. After we were almost complete a gentleman comes to the house and inquires about the work we were doing.  Half way through my explanation he suddenly asks us to leave or else he'd be calling the cops. We call the investor and he verifies everything but the man still calls the cops.  Just as we were finishing up the police arrived and told us they needed to sort this out.  They instruct us to leave and explain that they will contact us.  They tell the man who called they'll do some research. Police take our techs ID but not the gentlemen's. Our investor drove down and asked us to meet at the house 30 minutes later where he verified that everything was correct. As we were discussing the matter with the investor in front of the house, the next door neighbor informed that the gentleman who called the police just loaded up all of the appliances in a UHaul. We immediately called the police only to discover that they never got the man's ID because he was so convincing. -SS

The craziest locksmith customer experience I ever had was this one time, I got a job to unlock a car. The lady told me over the phone that she was in a hurry because she had chicken in the trunk. I got there within 1/2 hour of her call, unlocked her vehicle, she opened the trunk, and there were 2 cages with dead chickens. It was so awful. She never mentioned the chickens were live, so we all figured she went grocery shopping and needed to get groceries out. Reported it, but don't know what happened. -LO

I got a call one time on a 2008 Chevy Cobalt. The customer had locked his only set of keys inside the car so they called me to find out how much it would cost to get the door unlocked. I told them over the phone I can open it for $100 and I will do it in a way so that you will not damage your car. They said okay thanks but no thanks. I told them I am good at what I do which is why I believe my $100 charge is fair. I have no idea what they were doing but I get a call back 2 hours later and they asked me can you
come down really quick. When I arrived I saw holes in the driver door,  bent marks on the trunk, driver and passenger door and a wire sticking out of the driver lock. Needless to say they damaged the driver lock. After I asked for the money up front, I got my EEZ GMZ reader on the passenger lock which luckily was not damaged and cut a key to code in about 2 minutes.  They ended up asking me how did I do that so fast. I just said I am only here to open the locked car, I am not here to teach.  -LC