News Briefs, Dec. 2022

Dec. 1, 2022

Stolen Locksmith Van – and Equipment – Recovered

In this day of seemingly endless stories about crime and crime victims, we have good news to share.

Tim Forster’s locksmith shop, Albany Lock and Key in Albany, Oregon, had an incredible 30 hours of lows and highs. When Forster arrived at the shop the morning of Oct. 4, 2022, he immediately noticed that one of the company’s two service vans was missing. The vans typically were parked in front of the shop, in a well-lit strip mall in the center of town. He hoped one of his technicians had an early morning call, but that wasn’t the case.

Forster checked his video surveillance feed and saw a guy break the passenger door lock at 4:01 a.m. and drive off in the white Ford E250 van, clearly marked with the company’s name, logo and contact information. The guy seemed to know the lay of the land (Forster believes he might have cased his business or the entire shopping center in advance) and carefully kept his face covered and out of camera view.

Forster called the local police and handed over a copy of the video, fearing he’d never see his van — or, more important, the $20,000 of equipment inside — again. The police recognized the man in the video as part of a group from Salem, Oregon, that had been stealing commercial vehicles across town.

The next morning, Forster got a call from a manager of a Carl’s Jr restaurant in Kaiser, Oregon, 30 miles north of Albany. The manager spotted the van in her parking lot and was complaining that it had been left there overnight, wanting it removed. She had no idea it had been stolen. Thankfully, she called Albany Lock and Key, instead of having the van towed. Forster called the Kaiser police and got ready to head north.

Fifteen minutes later, the phone rang again, and the Carl’s Jr manager this time reported that a woman had just gotten into the van and driven off. Forster called the Kaiser police again, and they put out an all-points bulletin for the stolen van that had a giant blue key image on the side. Another 15 minutes later, the police in Kaiser stopped the vehicle and arrested the driver. Even better, the key machine, code machine and tools and inventory all still were in the van!

“It was an absolute miracle,” Forster says. “We were all on an incredible high. We got the van back and had it rolling on jobs the next day.”

Because of the high crime rate in Albany and surrounding cities, the vans no longer are stored at the shop. Forster and another employee now take them home at night.

However, Forster decided that it’s time to retire the stolen and recovered van, nicknamed “The Beast,” which has served as the main commercial job van for many years and 279,000 miles. The van had been in a collision a week before the theft and has a dent in the side. A replacement van is being outfitted and will include tracking devices and an alarm system, all state-of-the-art, to prevent another such incident.

ASSA ABLOY Proposes Sale to Acquire Kwikset and Baldwin

In an attempt to move forward on its acquisition of the Hardware and Home Improvement (HHI) division of Spectrum Brands, ASSA ABLOY has proposed the sale of its Emtek and Smart Residential business unit companies, August Home and Yale Home. These businesses represented sales of about $350 million in 2021.

The proposal was made Oct. 19, 2022, in ASSA ABLOY’s formal response to the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) complaint to block the proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of HHI, which owns Kwikset and Baldwin.

In its complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Justice Department charges that the merger would risk higher prices, lower quality, reduced innovation and poorer service in at least two types of residential door hardware: premium mechanical door hardware and smart locks.

“Competition between these two companies, which are two of the three largest companies in an already-concentrated industry, has benefited American consumers in the form of lower prices and better quality,” Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said in a statement. “That important competition would be extinguished if this merger were allowed to proceed to the detriment of Americans.”

“We believe strongly in the acquisition of HHI as we together will increase investments in the residential segments and strengthen our combined product offering for the benefit of consumers,” says Nico Delvaux, president and CEO of ASSA ABLOY. “The proposed remedies eliminate all competitive concerns alleged by the DOJ.”

ASSA ABLOY Acquires D&D Technologies

Meanwhile, ASSA ABLOY acquired D&D Technologies, a leading designer and manufacturer of premium gate hardware. D&D Technologies is based in Australia but with a strong U.S. presence.

“I am very pleased to welcome D&D Technologies into the ASSA ABLOY Group,” Delvaux says. “The company will reinforce our current offering within gate hardware and will provide complementary growth opportunities.”

“D&D Technologies has strong expertise in developing premium gate hardware products and, with its broad portfolio, is an excellent addition to the Pacific & North East Asia Division. I look forward to working with the experienced team to continue D&D’s successful journey,” says Simon Ellis, executive vice president and head of Asia Pacific, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Pacific & North East Asia.

D&D Technologies was established in 1989 and has 110 employees. The main office and factory are located in Sydney, Australia. Products include the MagnaLatch magnetic pool and safety gate latches, TruClose adjustable, self-closing gate hinges, and LokkLatch gate latches.

Locksmith Group Elects Board

The Missouri-Kansas Locksmith Association has elected and installed its slate of officers for the 2022-2023 season. The slate includes the following:

President: Robert Theobald, ARL

Secretary: Greg Brandt, CML

Treasurer: George Blair

Sergeant-at-Arms: Vance Blair

Trustee: Charles Wooters, Immediate Past President of MKLA

Trustee: Bob Pettegrew

Trustee: Rodger Ensley

More info:

School Security In Session

Allegion U.S. has launched In Session, a new video series intended to educate K-12 administrators on classroom and facility security, student and faculty safety, as well as funding. 

 “A lot has changed over the last few years, so we created this series to help administrators make informed decisions about safety and security today,” says Ken Cook, Allegion director of national safe schools and advocacy. “With outside experts across funding, physical security, student well-being and safety, each video addresses timely challenges facing schools and, most importantly, provides actionable advice.”

In Session launches with the five videos below and will continue to expand. The series is a self-serve model, which allows viewers to engage with topics that are of interest and learn at their own pace. 

“Q&A with a school funding expert”: “The Funding Doctor,” Dr. Paula Love, shares funding resources and opportunities available to some U.S. schools.

“Classroom locks vs. door barricades: How to secure classrooms safely”: Code expert Lori Greene and former Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) Chair Mark Williams explain the risks of barricade devices and provide code-compliant solutions.

“Best practices for school security post-pandemic”: Learn about the state of school security today and advice for securing the interior and exterior perimeter with Paul Timm, PSP and vice president of Physical Security Services.

“School safety: Advice from a former school security director”: Having been on both sides — in the school as a former security director and as an advocate for PASS — Guy Grace shares his unique perspective on holistic security solutions and making students and staff feel safe in schools.

“Addressing student mental health in schools”: This diverse panel hosted by Allegion featuring Michele Gay, founder of Safe and Sound Schools; Dr. Melissa Reeves, a renowned school psychologist; and Paul Timm discusses student well-being post-pandemic and how to balance that with school safety measures.

More info:

Paxton Access, the global brand of electronic IP access control, video surveillance and video intercom systems, continues to expand its U.S. team. 

Kim Manson has been added to Paxton as vice president business operations. The role of vice president business operations is new to Paxton. Manson’s primary objective is to ensure that Paxton delivers on providing world-class products and services to its U.S. customers and creating a world-class working environment. Her direct areas of responsibility are U.S. factory operations, IT, facilities and human resources.

Brian Bonser joined Paxton as director of customer support. He comes to Paxton with a proven track record of building and developing customer-support teams for more than 20 years.

More info: