Christmas Day Dinner Lockout with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

We at Mr. Locksmith were very busy during the Christmas Holidays repairing Break-Ins (B&E) opening cars, rekeying house and condos (Broken Heart Rekeys) and people locked out of their homes or businesses for various reasons.

I Terry Whin-Yates (3rd Generation Locksmith) started helping my Dad (Brian Whin-Yates) over 40 years ago in the family locksmith business (Grand Dad Frank and Uncle Robert all worked in the family locksmith business). I loved going out Dad or my Uncle Robert on lockouts. I had a set of lock picks since I was 5 years old and they would let me try to pick the lock first. Over the years I got very good at picking open most locks.

One of the saddest locks outs or openings I do is when a family reports a missing relative or friend and I am called out by the local police to open a locked residence. My experience doing these kinds of lockouts have not been good. My oldest son (Jack Whin-Yates, 4th Generation Locksmith) attended one lockout and he had a horrific experience. (Jack can write about it in a later Blog).

If the police suspect the person is inside and injured they don’t hesitate in forcing open the door, sometimes with the help of the Fire Department (those big axes open a door pretty quick). However, you can imagine the damage to the door, lock and frame and repairing the damage can be in the hundreds if not thousands of dollars. When the police or relatives are not positive the person is inside they call a locksmith,

On Christmas day I was called out by the RCMP to open a locked door in a condo in North Vancouver, BC. I was very close by and it didn’t take me long to get there. The owner, an elderly gentleman, didn’t show up to a family dinner. and family and friends where worried The missing man had been known to go for long walks so the police, family and fire department didn’t want to force their way into the condo just in case he was just out for a long walk. When I arrived the police officer was knocking hard on the door and was yelling through the door and a neighbour was telephoning the condo. I could hear the phone ringing and no other noise, Constable J. D. from the RCMP asked me if I could pick open the door asap. Just then the elevator opened with Fire Department and ambulance personnel with all their gear. The pressure was on!

I was very lucky that Christmas Day, the deadbolt was a Weiser and I have a 99.9 percent chance of picking the lock in under 2 minutes. With everyone now waiting for me to do my best of 007, I picked the lock open in seconds. Someone behind me said “I;m glad you’re are on our side.” I opened the door a crack and got out of the way and Cst J. D. went inside. He found the elderly gentleman had fallen down in the living room and was moaning quietly. Ambulance guys quickly attended the fallen man.

For me this was a good missing person lockout, he was hurt but alive. This was my third missing person lockout during the Holidays and the other lockouts I opened without damage to the lock or door but they did not have a good endings. I am told the elderly gentleman will be ok and a relative now has an extra key.

About Terry Whin-Yates

Terry Whin-Yates is the president and CEO of Mr. Locksmith. Terry grew up in Ontario, where his father and grandfather taught him how to pick locks. He moved to BC to get his master’s degree in Criminology. Today he lives in Vancouver and his children work in the business. Mr. Locksmith has several locksmith franchisees, all of whom are like extensions of the family business.

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