The Lock Out Kings, an automobile unlocking service, rescues people who lock their keys in the car.
Most calls are routine — someone has locked keys in the car on the highway or at the shopping center.
But, sometimes, the call is urgent: someone has left a baby in the car, and the door is locked. That’s a priority call, said technician Jason King, who also calls police and the fire department — whichever can get there first — in cases of emergency.
Recently, a grandmother locked her 2-year-old grandchild in the car at an elementary school.
“The baby was crying, then she fell asleep. We got her out, and the grandmother was just so happy,” King said.
In cases of emergency, there is no charge for their service, King said.
Another day, King got a call from another frantic customer.
“A lady called that her baby was in the car. That baby was a 110-pound German Shepherd, barking at the door lock. I opened it, and I said ‘let me step back.’ That was the biggest baby I every saw. It turned out he was friendly. But that was a priority call.”
If it’s not an emergency, it costs $25, but right now there’s a $5 coupon, making it a $20 charge.
Most calls are more routine — people who accidentally lock their keys in the car.
The Lockout Kings are available 24-hours a day, King said.
Some people go out on an errand, and they leave their keys in the car. Or someone goes to the post office, gets out of the car, talks on the cell phone and locks the keys in the car. Or, while warming up the car in the morning, they lock the door and go back in the house for coffee.
Lockout Kings do more than unlock car doors. They also will jump start your car and come and get you if you’re stranded on the freeway without any gasoline. They’ll give you gas, but they do not tow your car.
And, they’ll change your tire for you for the $20 charge.
Angelic Marquez owns The Lockout Kings, which also employs a part-time worker.
They’ve been in business in Tomé for three years.
They serve people in Valencia County and go as far north as the Albuquerque airport. If the call is outside of the county line, the charge is $1 a mile. Most of their calls are in Valencia County, he said.
“We saw there was a need for this service,” Marquez said. “It’s usually very expensive. A tow is $35 to $50. It was something we could do.”
Their prices are lower than other similar services, Marquez said. And they offer discounts for seniors and other specials. King added: “I like being out doing a good service for people. They’re so happy to see you.”
King was trained at a school in Albuquerque.
In the trunk of his car, he has a kit with an array of tools that will open various locked cars.
“People used to use clothes hangers. They risk damaging their car. This is faster, and it doesn’t cause damage,” King said.
People also used to use a thin metal piece known as a slim jim, but these too can cause damage to the car, King added.
Lockout Kings may be reached at 565-8182.