Lock and key theft is rampant in Dallas, and locking down your home can help you prevent it.
Here are eight locksmith spots you should know about.
Arlington, TX locksmith: Arlington, Texas locksmith Kevin Miller says he’s seen a dramatic increase in lock and key thefts from April to July.
“The last time we had a major increase in the number of lock and keys being stolen, we had the shooting in the mall that killed five people,” he said.
Miller says a lot of the thefts happen on the weekends, when the area is closed for the holidays.
Miller said his office has seen a spike in lock-downs after the shootings in the city.
“People just think it’s a random thing,” he told WFAA.
“But we’ve had people come in and just pick the lock and the key off the wall and then leave.”
Miller says the problem is getting worse.
“It’s just becoming a daily occurrence, not just the weekends,” he explained.
Sarasota, TX: San Antonio locksmith Jeff Koester says there have been about a half dozen major lock-and-key thefts since he started in 2014.
“There’s always been a lot more lock-up activity on the weekend because the holidays are just coming up and there’s lots of parties going on,” he says.
“On a Monday morning, there’s probably about 10,000 people in town.”
In some cases, people have gotten away with locking their doors and breaking into cars.
But Koesters said there’s no way for him to know how many locksmith work there.
“I’ve never seen a lock and it’s not in a secure location, so it’s hard to know exactly what the numbers are,” he added.
Austin, TX. locksmith Daniel Dominguez says he sees a lot, but only recently has he been seeing more thefts.
“When you’re a new person coming into the industry, it’s pretty normal to see a couple of thefts a week, so I’m kind of surprised, but it’s still a lot,” he tells WFAB.
Domingues, who has been working at Austin locksmith for about a year, said he has seen an increase in thefts from the end of April to the beginning of July.
He said it’s because people are more comfortable with breaking into homes.
“As long as the locksmith is doing his job, it seems like the crimes aren’t increasing,” he shared.
“We are seeing a decrease in the overall numbers, but the percentage of burglaries is actually going up.”
Scottsdale, AZ: Scott Stoddard, a locksmith at Scotts Dental, says he has also seen a rise in thefts during the holiday period.
“From late April to early July, there has been a significant uptick in lock thefts,” he states on his website.
“Most of the thieves seem to be from the south of Arizona and Utah, so the holidays tend to be the busiest period in that area.”
Stoddards locksmith told ABC News that the number has gone up a lot during the holidays, but he can’t say exactly how.
“You can’t really pin down the exact number of locksmith activity in the area, but I think we’re seeing a significant increase, especially in early June,” he adds.
San Diego, CA: Karen Lippman says that it’s common for thieves to break into homes in San Diego and then steal locks.
“Once you get inside, it can be pretty easy to open your front door, and when you do, you’re going to have a bunch of keys,” she said.
“So it’s very easy for people to get in the house and open the doors.”
Lipps locksmith, who is based in San Jose, said that thieves have become increasingly adept at opening locks and doors in San Diegans neighborhoods.
“They do it on the street and they do it with a lot less risk than if they do a locksafe,” she added.
Houston, TX.: Lockmith Daniel Sauter says he is seeing a lot in the wake of the shooting that he is not sure is related to the holiday break.
“During the holiday season, people are much more aware of the safety and security of their homes and businesses,” he explains.
“And that means more lock and pad activity.
That’s why we have a large number of incidents that involve burglaries.”
Sauters says he believes the thefts are driven by a mix of factors.
“Every time there’s a shooting, people rush to lock down their homes, lock down cars, lock and disable their devices,” he continued.
“This is the kind of thing that’s driven burglaries in the last few years.”
Tampa, FL. locksmaster Kevin Kucera says he typically sees about four