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Call the Cops Domestic calls... How to avoid as a Locksmith

We've been talking about these safety measurements on how to make sure people who work with locks and keys stay safe. Something interesting was brought up, and I'm looking forward to discussing dealing with domestic situations.

PJ: If you work with locks and keys, and you work with the public, chances are at some point, you're going to have a domestic situation on your hands. So, I brought in my dad, also known as the lock father.

Pete: All right, everybody!

PJ: So out of all the years that you've been in the locksmithing business, have you had to deal with some domestic situations?

Pete: More than I'd like to say.


PJ: Okay, and so, do you have any good examples of them that have gone bad?

Pete: Well, one of the guys was out doing a job, and you try to talk to him over the phone. Oh, I need my locks changed. Can you do it between here and here? And why do we have to do it between here and here? Because my wife or girlfriend coming home and I want to change the locks as I'm kicking her out. I go, Oh, great.

PJ: Yeah.

Pete: And so, I saw one of the guys there, he did it and the guy is sitting out on the couch, the guy is, undoing the locks and also the girlfriend came running, plowed him over and started thump on the guy sitting on the couch.

PJ: The boyfriend?

Pete: The boyfriend and I've always told them, tell him to knock it off, or you're calling the cops. Will you call the cops?

PJ: Okay.

Pete: And she got arrested and now she's mad at us. But we tell him, you guys can't do a normal talk, we're done.

PJ: Yeah.

Pete: We had to go to court on that one.

PJ: You did?

Pete: Yeah. So here, I still got to pay my guy because he works for me but I'm not making any money and here, you got to sit in court for a day.

PJ: Yeah, that's not good.

Pete: Yeah. But that's part of life.

PJ: Yeah. And so, I'm guessing there's have you had more than one.

Pete: Oh.

PJ: Right. And so, I think the thing is, is that we have to acknowledge the fact that they happen.

Pete: Right. It's not going to happen.



PJ: Right. And so, the question I have is how do you nowadays handle the situation? So how do they, I'm guessing they normally start with some phone calls, like you kind of said, it's kind of weird and they're like, hey -

Pete: Then I tell them exactly what's up. I need to know before I come up, are you getting a divorce? Is there domestic? Is there going to be guns and craziness?

PJ: Yeah, will they normally tell you what's going on?

Pete: Yeah, and sometimes if it's too crazy sounding, we turn them down.

PJ: Okay, if it just is kind of getting weird -

Pete: Yeah, I tell them to take off the locks and ask a friend to sit in the house while you bring the locks to us. Because we don't want to be stuck in anything because you got to go to court. We've been on the court more than once on stuff.

PJ: Okay. And so, let's talk about your policies. And because we were talking about overall for people who work with locks and keys to be safe, I think that talking about domestic situations is one of those. When I got to tackle, maybe it could have been worse, right?

Pete: I mean, we want our people safe.

 PJ: Yeah.

Pete: They're going there to do a job not to be in the middle of a fight.

PJ: Absolutely. And the truth is that with relationships, they can get in when things get a little squirrely, they can get nasty.

Pete: Absolutely.



PJ: And so, talk to me about the protocol that you have for your business when it comes to domestic situations.

Pete: Well, domestic, without them knowing over the telephone, you know, you show up changing like, okay, they keep looking at their clock, and or their watch.

PJ: Yeah.

Pete: Is there a problem? Well, I need to get it done because I kicked out the husband or whatever.

PJ: Yeah.

Pete: And then you go, okay, well, this is what you do. You tell them straight up. If the guy comes and starts any problem, I'm dropping the locks and walk away. Even if the locks are off the door, there's going to be a conflict. We're walking away.

PJ: Okay, so you mean that if you're there, I just want to get clear.

Pete: Right.

PJ: So, you're saying that when it comes to a domestic situation, and you let the person know, hey, I will go out there and we will rekey the locks but if the other person shows up and there's any sort of tension…

Pete: Tensions are no problem. If there's physical abuse, we call the cops no matter what.

PJ: Yeah. And then you're -

Pete: And I tell my guy to drop the locks and wait outside until the cops show up.

PJ: Okay

Pete: Because in today's world, everybody carries a gun. And if there's a gun involved, I don't want my guy...I don't want anybody to get beat up either, but it's a tough call.

PJ: It's a tough situation, especially when you show up in the middle of it. And all of a sudden, you gain this new insight into what's going on.

Pete: Right. And first of all, I need my technician to be safe. Now, me being the size I am. stuff still happens, but not as often because I will stand up for if it's the male or female if they're getting hit. I'll say, hey, knock that crap off, I'm calling the cops and I will call the cops right then and there.

PJ: Sure. When calling the cops, you call 911.

Pete: Right. Or if nothing's coming, and I have to get in there and you know, say, pull somebody off. I've done that, too.

PJ: Okay. Yeah. Now, let's talk about the verbal side effect. Right? A lot of times and these type of, if there's some sort of a breakup or something going on, a lot of times tensions get high and mouths really can start going. I mean, what do you do if you show up? And, of course, the significant other is not happy when they see what going on and they start chirping.

Pete: I'm calling my lawyer. You're going to get sued. You're going to do this. You're going to jail, this is my house, too.

PJ: Yeah. So how do you handle that?

Pete: We were called out to change the locks, we're changing the locks. Then if the spouse calls, or the boyfriend or girlfriend calls and says no, we're not playing that game, we changed them once we're done.

PJ: Okay, so you will change that address, locks one time period.

Pete: Right, within the next month

PJ: Within the next month?

Pete: Right.

PJ: Okay, so to call back in a couple of days?

Pete: They lock me out. No, I'm done.

PJ: And you kind of help, you felt that that's kind of kept you out of

Pete: - a lot of problems.

PJ: A lot of problems is by doing that once.

Pete: Right. And then I call the other locksmiths around and let them know, and they've called us.

PJ: Yeah, and you say, Hey.

Pete: Yes, stay clear.

PJ: Yeah

Pete: Because that's the whole thing to be safe. You want to help each other. You know, they're your competition, but at the same time, you still don't want them to get hurt.

PJ: Absolutely, yeah so let's talk about when you go there and you realize it's domestic, are you checking ID to make sure that person can live there?

Pete: If they have a key to the house, that's one thing. I'd asked for their IDs, but up in Idaho, a lot of them have peel boxes. They don't have their physical address on them. Okay, then I said, show me a piece of mail with your name on it or a bill.

PJ: Something?

Pete: Yeah. And that's good enough for me.

PJ: Okay. So that's usually how you handle that situation?

Pete: The same was safes when you're going in the middle of the night to change a combo or open a safe. You go, let me see. because one house got robbed. Thank God, it wasn't us.

PJ: Yeah.

Pete: People were snowbirds and they lived there, people moved into their house, found a safe, and had somebody open it.

PJ: Yikes.

Pete: Yeah. Because you always got to look over. I say, look over your shoulder. No, my company. I say if you have to look over your shoulder, don't do the job. No and ifs or buts because who wants to be dragged into court? I've been in business for over 40 years. I've never been sued. They've threatened but I've never had to go to court but the domestic problem would have been half a dozen times.

PJ: Okay. So it's been an issue over the years?

Pete: Yes, and it's getting worse. The way the world is today. It gets worse.

PJ: It's escalating.

Pete: Yes.

PJ: It's escalating right now. Okay, so I just want to recap and make sure that we kind of bullet points out the proposition here. So first, when you show up, you're trying to figure out some sort of proof that they live there.

Pete: And let's say they don't have the key, maybe the spouse or girlfriend took it from them. As long as they have ID showing that they live there, that's all we need.

PJ: Okay, you also let them know that if the significant other shows up, starts chirping, starts running their mouth on you, you're going to leave.

Pete: Right.

PJ: Right?

Pete: Yes, and call the cops.

PJ: And call the cops?

Pete: I don't want to leave them unsecured either. So that's why we go outside.

PJ: Yeah, they get all heated.

Pete: Let's call the cops and say, hey, we're having domestic here. We're the locksmith and there are problems.

PJ: Okay. And then depending on and of course, if there's any sort of physical violence, you're calling the cops and you're dealing with that. And then I'm guessing it's kind of a one-by-one situation after you call the cops, depending on what happens, you might stay and finish the job.

Pete: Well, I'm standing there when I'm calling the cop because I'm not going to. It's amazing how many men get beat up by the girls.

PJ: Yeah

Pete: It's not always the girls getting bumped on. It's usually the other way around.

PJ: Yeah.

Pete: And, you know, I don't want anybody to get hurt.

PJ: Sure.

Pete: And like I say, I'm not trying to be Mr. Big or anything else but as a man, I feel that's my job.

PJ: And so, if that situation, you'll call the cops? You might leave the after they show up? You might finish the job? You might leave depending on the situation. Sometimes it's better to get out of there.

Pete: Because we have some female locksmiths who would go out and do jobs. I don't want them anywhere by it.

PJ: Yeah, okay. And then lastly, you only rekey that property one time within a reasonable amount of time, like a month or so. You're not going to be called back three days later because now the other significant other, called another locksmith, had them change it and they want you to come back -

Pete: - and change it again.

PJ: Yeah. You know, I think I appreciate that too because like, not only is it good to not do that, but you also don't want to just drain the people of their money.

Pete: It's not about the money in that situation. There have problems, there's likely somebody drained a bank account already, one or the other. But yeah, I'm not playing those games.

PJ: Okay. And then, of course, on top of that, besides the points we just made, you're saying that you're also kind of filling them out over the phone?

Pete: Yes.

PJ: Right. And sometimes, they're going to be very transparent, and sometimes they're going to act like it's just another day at the office, right?

Pete: Yeah. And that's the same thing when people are deceased. We require that they show us, and prove that you have a power of attorney because the other brothers and sisters are all trying to get in there, and take whatever they can.

PJ: Yeah, that's another good. Yeah, that's another point.

Pete: Yeah. So, we say no power of attorney. We're not touching it. No, and, ifs, or buts until you have the lawyer give us the papers saying.

There you go! I hope that you found this information helpful when you're out there reaching homes and have to deal with some domestic situations. If you have questions or you have comments and you have different strategies and things that you would like to add to the conversation, make sure you do it in the comments. Include the #LockBoss to automatically be entered into win one of five free prizes we give away each week on YouTube. Thank you. I'll see you next time.

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