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Is the Safety of Locksmiths and Emergency Responders at Risk?

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Crime is on the rise, and nobody is safe, not even your nearby local locksmith. In 2021, the violent crime rate in the United States was reported at 395.7 cases per 100,000 population, and the situation varies from state to state.

For instance, in 2022, Maryland matches the national violent crime rate of 4.0 incidents per 1,000 people. Therefore, people need to be vigilant and take every necessary precaution not to become victims of such violent crimes, especially in professions that respond to emergency calls. 

Following the incident where a nearby locksmith responded to a service call and was kidnapped, there has been renewed discussion about the safety of workers in professions with emergency service responsibilities. Let’s discuss it in detail.

Locksmith Kidnapped In Maryland

On June 30, two suspects were detained by Police after they kidnapped and robbed a locksmith under duress. Remarkably, there were no injuries to the victim. The incident happened when a nearby locksmith was responding to an emergency service call.  The suspects requested assistance with making a key, and when the locksmith approached, one suspect pulled out a gun and forced the locksmith to get into the car. 

The suspects drove the victim to multiple ATMs, threatening his life and making him withdraw money. He was also forced to call a family member and ask for money. The family member called 911 because they believed the victim might be in danger. 

The victim was still inside the vehicle when the accused crashed it after leading the police on a pursuit down Piscataway Road into Clinton, Virginia. The suspect’s car was stolen, an AK-style weapon was found inside, and a second gun was discovered by a PGPD K9 not far from where the suspects exited the vehicle, according to the police department. Both suspects were charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, and gun-related charges. 

Another similar incident happened in Milwaukee, where a locksmith was robbed at gunpoint. According to the police department, they believed the thieves were targeting computers used to program key fobs on newer cars. 

The equipment targeted has the capacity to plug into any vehicle’s ignition to program key fobs and bypass a vehicle’s security system to start a vehicle, according to Milwaukee police. With this device, criminals may control 70 to 80 percent of the car brands.

Professions With Emergency Service Responsibilities

Many professions respond to emergency service calls, such as: 

  • Locksmith: there are 4 types of locksmith services; residential, commercial, automotive, and emergency. Emergency service calls occur when someone gets locked out of their home or car and is stuck in the middle of nowhere. Depending on the location and situation, emergency services can cost around $150 or more.
  • Emergency Medical Technician: EMTs are responsible for evaluating and assessing a patient’s condition before they are transported to a hospital. They are the first responders in emergencies like accidents, crashes, etc.
  • Educators: Educators can specialize in different fields, such as public health or recovery management, and hold workshops to create awareness about emergency management. They help educate the general public about responding to disaster situations.
  • Safety Coordinator: This profession is responsible for planning and overseeing the general health and safety procedures followed by a facility. They also hold workshops to teach how to mitigate risk and potential safety issues. 

Public health nurses, security personnel, disaster recovery managers, etc. are some other occupations with emergency service obligations. All of these specialists occasionally have to travel in the middle of the night or beyond office hours to assist total strangers.

Since there is no way to guarantee if the individual on the other end is in need or trying to lure you into a trap, there is little you can do to prevent these risks.

With the rising crime rate and recent incidents, it is safe to say that emergency call responders are at risk. The only way to prevent violent situations is to verify the caller’s information, not go out alone, and have help on the ready.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), first-call responders face natural disasters, major hazardous materials emergencies, structural collapse, civil disturbance, bomb disposal, hostage situations, and terrorism in their routine activities. Thus, measures should be taken to protect emergency responders.