Should You Call the Police to Unlock Your Car Door?
We’ve all been there: We walk out to the parking lot after running inside for a quick errand or even a longer day of shopping, and we can’t find our keys to open the car anywhere. We fumble with our bags and grow more frantic as we search until we finally see the keys dangling from the ignition or resting on the center console.
And if you’ve ever been locked out of your car in the hot, Arizona sun, you know that every minute you have to wait to figure out a solution can feel like an eternity.
If you belong to a roadside assistance program with car lockout services, you are likely going to call them first. But you can still be left waiting a long time, which can be not only uncomfortable but also inconvenient as you likely have a lot of other things to do quickly.
If you don’t belong to such a program, or you just don’t have the time to wait, you might think to call the police to help you. Here’s why you should NOT do that:
They May Not be Able to Help
The police may be able to get your car open, but they may not – especially if you have a newer car with more advanced technology. Sometimes, they may try to open your car anyway and end up causing damage. Other times, they may try for a while before giving up, essentially wasting your time. Other times, they may not try at all and will just call a tow truck. You’ll be out a couple hundred dollars and an untold amount of time sweating away in the heat.
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They May Charge You
It is not in a police officer’s duty to help you get into your car. Public safety is their goal, so the only time getting you into your car falls under that job duty is if you are in a dangerous situation.
Unfortunately, being outside in the heat is not considered dangerous, especially when you are right outside a public building where you can wait in the air conditioning.
Therefore, you may end up getting charged by the police for the call. And if the police officer isn’t able to call you and has to call a tow truck, you may end up paying for the police call and the two truck.
You are Wasting their Time
The purpose of 911 – or even calling the general police line – is to report a real emergency or problem. When a police officer is dispatched to help you with a lockout, they are being diverted from other potentially more important situations. Even if there is nothing else demanding the officer’s attention at the time of the call, an emergency might arise during the time the officer is trying to help you. The officer would be considered unavailable and would not be able to respond to that other emergency.
You’ll also save money by calling a mobile car locksmith. You’ll pay just for the price of the service, not for a tow truck and not for any damage. In most cases, the cost of the service is quite reasonable.