Detroit locksmiths open up about their businesses
As a locksmith, what are some of the services you provide?
Hodge: "We do lockouts, rekeying, installation for homes and businesses, and car-related services, too —anything to do with a lock or key."
Who we talked to
Lisa Hodge, treasurer
A B Locksmith Inc.
5858 Pelham Road
Reggie Moxley, owner
Eastside Locksmiths LLC
15138 E. Warren Ave.
Moxley: "We're a full-service locksmith company: we do lock repairs and installations, cameras, electronic openers, and changing and rekeying locks."
Knoch: "We change locks, drill holes for new hardware and new deadbolts, we do keys for cars, lockouts, car alarms, rebuild steering columns and we do wheel locks."
How do you charge?
Hodge: "We charge by the job."
Moxley: "We charge by service call, which covers the technician's time coming out to the house, and then it's piecework, charging per item on the job."
Knoch: "By the job — we charge $38.50 for a service call, plus the parts or individual services."
What's the average fee for customers locked out of their house, their car or their safe?
Hodge: "Lockout service for a car is $40, and it's $50 for a home or business. Sometimes we do safes — the charge depends on the type of safe."
Moxley: "If it's close by, our standard is $65 for homes and most cars. Safes are hard to put a ballpark on, because you won't know what type it is until you get there."
Knoch: "It's $65 for a car or home lockout. It's $85 to open a safe, but it's basically destroyed afterwards. It costs more to change a safe code or combination."
Before you start a job, do you require some type of identification?
Hodge: "Oh yeah, you have to prove you own the home or car."
Moxley: "Absolutely, we ask for ID from the customer and we make sure they live there or own the car."
Knoch: "Yeah, you need it for a house or car lockout. We need proof of ownership."
What happens if the customer's ID is locked up and they can't get to it?
Hodge: "If they've locked it in, we'll open it and then they have to show ID. If they don't, we'll have to call the police."
Moxley: "We play it by ear. You can usually tell by the phone call or when you get there if the person is legit — we watch it pretty closely."
Knoch: "For a car, it's usually no problem. For a house, we'd need to verify them through a neighbor."
Do you have any advice for people who lock themselves out of their cars or homes all the time?
Hodge: "Make extra keys."
Moxley: "Get an extra key and hide it under the car or around the house."
Knoch: "Use a key-hider magnet under your car, bury a key around your house somewhere or give one to someone you trust."