South Lake Tahoe locksmith celebrates 30 years in business
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — After 30 years of picking locks on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore, master locksmith Randy Llewellyn expanded his business.
He recently relocated Integrity Locksmith to a new building at 2331 Lake Tahoe Blvd. Llewellyn purchased the building after 30 years of renting another location.
“Obviously, owning a property is a lot better than renting because you can invest in our own place instead of someone else’s,” he said.
A South Lake Tahoe resident since 1973, Llewellyn cut his first set of keys back in the 1970s along side his father.
“My dad bought a locksmith business from its old owner back in the 1970s,” Llewellyn said. “We were trained at the same time by the previous locksmith.”
He branched out on his own in 1985, setting up shop under the name Randy’s Locksmith.
The name shifted to Integrity Locksmith in 2007, a move he said came after much deliberation.
THE LIFE OF A LOCKSMITH
According to Llewellyn, being a locksmith can be challenging, especially when it means keeping up with recent technologies — like microchips.
“It’s a hands-on type of skill and most people don’t realize how complicated it can be,” Llewellyn said. “It’s a pretty unique job because it’s always evolving.”
Llewellyn earned the title “worship pastor locksmith” as well, as he leads worship at South Lake Tahoe’s Sierra Community Church on Sierra Boulevard.
Integrity Locksmith handles everything from basic key duplication and car keys to the occasional safecracking for law enforcement agencies.
Llewellyn also makes house calls.
“You’d be surprised how many times a dog locks itself in the car with the keys by hitting the button,” he said. “Sometimes you’ll see the owner try and tell the dog to unlock the door.”
Dustin Wiemeyer, one of Integrity Locksmith’s service technicians, added that handcuffs are also a recurring topic for services calls.
“We had a call one time during a handcuff demonstration when someone accidentally forgot the key,” Wiemeyer said. “The handcuffs kept getting tighter and tighter before we got there.”
Safecracking skills come in handy as well, according to Wiemeyer.
“We will occasionally get called in if law enforcement finds a safe in someone’s home, though most of the time it’s empty,” Wiemeyer said. “There are also a lot of people who buy a house only to discover it came along with an unknown floor safe.”
Llewellyn said he tends to his business much like a calling, including services as far away as Yerington in Lyons County, Nevada, approximately 75 miles from South Lake Tahoe.
“Yerington really is this little town in the middle of nowhere, but very few others go out there,” Llewellyn said. “We’ll go anywhere if someone asks us to and that’s something we just do.”
For more information on Integrity Locksmith, visit http://www.myintegritylocksmith.com.