Residents in Oakland reacted with anger after the city featured a lock picking class in a city newsletter, reported the Xenophilia.
The three-hour class titled “Introduction to Lockpicking” is one of the 40 entries in Mayor Jean Quan’s newsletter to the public. Other classes include robot building. In a city where the crime rate is high, promoting lock-picking skills didn’t make the residents happy. Some said they felt “appalled” and others found the class “unbelievable”.
“I honestly feel that a lot of people should not have these skills. They shouldn’t have these skills,” said Oscar Ruiz.
Mayor Jean Quan acknowledged in a statement that she has heard complaints from the community.
“I understand their reaction and I apologize. The class is part of a do-it-yourself, garage-science sort of event, and those are popular in our creative community, but it strikes the wrong note when we’re doing everything we can to bring down crime,” she said.
The description of the lock-picking class asked students to bring their own lock-picking tools or to purchase a set.
“It’s not illegal to buy and sell lock picks in California, but it is odd to promote it. Many of our customers feel very weird about the fact that lock picks might be for sale to the general public,” said Randy Reed, an Oakland locksmith and president of the California Locksmith Association.