By Leticia Elizondo / Photos By Ivan Xavier Ramirez
Every fourteen seconds a break-in occurs somewhere in this country. Theft has devastating consequences from losing prized possessions or personal identification information and, while living along the border has many benefits, there are certainly a few drawbacks, especially when it comes to crime. Within a matter of minutes our most prized possessions can be lost forever in a foreign country. It is imperative to invest in quality locking devices for the things that matter most.
Located a just a few blocks off of downtown Jackson Street in Harlingen is All Valley Key and Lock. Established in 1974, the company has been serving Rio Grande Valley residents for almost forty years. All Valley Key and Lock sells, installs, and services both electronic and manual locking devices.
Ed Howell, co-owner of All Valley Key and Lock has been working in the locksmith industry for forty years. Howell was introduced to the profession as an art student in Houston. After searching for some part-time work, Howell landed a job working at the locksmith department of Sears, where he quickly moved up the ranks. As his children got older, Howell decided to relocate the family to south Texas where he was hired at All Valley Key and Lock by owner Larry Hart. In 2000, Mr. Hart retired, selling the company to Howell, who turned the business into a family owned corporation with his son Luis Castellon and wife Yolanda Howell.
From installing commercial grade business locks to replacing car keys, All Valley Key and Lock provides quality service to both residential and commercial customers. For both small and large businesses, All Valley Key and Lock offers annual maintenance service contracts as well as security audits and inspections. Its central location in the Valley makes it possible to service over fifteen hundred loyal customers throughout the region. While it may seem more convenient to simply pick up a lock at a supersized hardware store, the low grade quality has the potential to put you at risk for theft. “These hardware stores sell locks designed for light-duty use in a household, and made to their specifications. The locks we sell are mostly commercial grade for heavy use in an office building” explains Howell. All Valley Key and Lock also stocks light duty use keys at equally competitive prices, and although the majority of business is commercial, residential customers can still count on a higher grade product than a mass market retailer.
As technology in the automobile industry continues to advance specialized security maintenance has gone from luxury to necessity. Automobile keys on new models have built-in computer chips that cannot be duplicated by most stores. In addition to providing state of the art locking equipment, All Valley Key and Lock also carries and maintains security safes. Known for their superior customer service, All Valley Key and Lock offers twenty-four hour emergency locksmith services. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable with each master locksmith requiring a minimum fifteen years of experience. “We have a combined total of 140 years locksmith experience” proudly remarks Howell. When faced with a challenging situation, Howell knows he can rely on the expertise and support of fellow locksmiths throughout the country. “The difficult you can do right away, the impossible takes a little bit longer!” states Mr. Lionel Levin, the company’s top accounting executive.
All Valley Key and Lock remains committed to providing the Valley with quality service at affordable prices, with Mr. Castellon running the business, customer safety remains the highest priority. Howell takes pride in the work of All Valley Key and Lock “knowing that I’ve done my job and helped people to both be able to continue on with their lives in a regular manner and helping others feel more secure”.