Homeowner calls for tighter regulation of locksmith industry

Man tried to break into Hollywood home, convincing locksmith that he lived there


HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A homeowner is calling for tighter regulation of the locksmith industry after someone tried to break into his house by convincing a local locksmith that he lived there.

"This had all the makings of a real tragedy," said Mike Callahan, who is grateful that his oldest son was sitting on the porch, locked out of their house, when a van from Lee's Locksmith showed up.

Callahan said a man hopped out of the passenger seat of the van and told the worker to pick the lock so he could go inside. Callahan said his son was very confused.

"He called me up and said, 'Dad, did you call a locksmith to come out here?'" said Callahan, "and in the background I heard a booming voice say, 'Kid, why don't you just get out of here, you know this is my house.'"

Police said Bruce Davis, 57, showed the locksmith his bank statement to prove he lived there. But according to prosecutors, Davis simply changed the mailing address on his account and printed it.

"I just can't believe that could happen in this day and age," said Callahan, whose son called police and began arguing with Davis over who actually owned the home. That's when the locksmith decided it was best to just close the door and wait for police.

"I've never had it happen, ever in our business," said Marco Salvino, the owner of Lee's Locksmith, a reputable business in Hollywood for nearly 50 years.

Salvino said Davis showed up at his shop explaining he lost his keys at the beach and needed a locksmith to open his door.

"We got out to the house and we told him when we got there, we needed to see a picture ID to associate with the paperwork and he said no problem, he had that inside the house," Salvino said.

Salvino told Local 10's Roger Lohse that the employee never would have left the house before seeing a picture ID.

Fortunately, the alarm went off when he opened the door and Davis took off. Police caught him a few blocks away.

Callahan said he was surprised to learn that locksmiths aren't required to see any identification when they're asked to open a door. Salvino said it's his company's policy to ask for a picture identification.

Callahan hopes this incident will prompt tighter regulation of the industry to protect homeowners like him.

"I believe the law needs to be put in place before the tragedy does happen," he said.

Davis is charged with attempted burglary and he's being held in the Broward County Jail on $1,500 bond. Because he's been locked up for more than a month, his bank statements are still being mailed to Callahan's address.