He ran Dobby’s Lock Shop with his late wife, Sandy, until she passed away in 2005. His current wife, Bonnie Summers, assisted him for many years thereafter. She emphasized in 2016 that Dobson’s dedication to his craft and the quality of his work is second to none.

By Danielle Jester

After over four decades doing business in Yreka and earning a sterling reputation, Dobby’s Lock Shop founder and owner Jerry Dobson has finally closed up shop. Kenny Fried, owner of Kenny’s Lock Shop, has purchased Dobby’s inventory and shared that he “wants to make sure Dobby’s good name stays that way.” Fried worked for Dobson for five years, four of which were an apprenticeship as he learned the locksmithing trade. Fried has now been locksmithing for 12 years and has become a trusted name in the business himself.

Dobson has worked as a locksmith longer than Fried has been alive. Fried, who was born and raised in Yreka and graduated from Yreka High School in 1999, said he knew if he was going to commit to learning the trade, he wanted to learn from the best – and that was and still is Dobson.

When Fried began his apprenticeship under Dobson in 2007, Dobson had been locksmithing for over 50 years.

He’d owned Dobby’s Lock Shop for 31 years but he began locksmithing in 1953. Dobson shared in a 2016 interview with the Siskiyou Daily News – at which time Dobby’s was celebrating 40 years in business – that prior to opening Dobby’s he worked for a major locksmithing company for 17 years.

“His knowledge base is still outstanding,” Fried said of Dobson, adding that he still calls his mentor on occasion when he has a job-related question. “You never quit learning in this business. There’s something new every day,” Dobson said.

And Fried now has his own apprentice, Kevin Berry, who is a 2013 YHS graduate. He’s been shadowing Fried for a couple months. Asked if he plans to complete the entire four-year apprenticeship, Berry said, “Absolutely.” Referring to Fried and Dobson, he expressed, “I’m very thankful to be learning under these guys.”

Dobson shared a bit about his business philosophy in 2016. He explained, “The person who walks through the door who wants one key made is just as important as the one who wants 300 keys made.” He mentioned that part of being a good locksmith is consistency: “Anybody can cut a key – it’s doing it right every time.”

Dobson was also conscious of providing customers with the level of service he himself would expect. “When I touch your car, that car belongs to me. The same thing goes for a house,” he said in 2016, noting that a person’s property should look the same after he’d been there as before.

“Jerry’s a very good safe tech, too,” Fried remarked last week. Dobson helped his clients in innumerable situations over the years. He applied his skills to automatic doors, businesses, semi trucks, cars, vaults – “anything that takes a key.”

He ran Dobby’s Lock Shop with his late wife, Sandy, until she passed away in 2005. His current wife, Bonnie Summers, assisted him for many years thereafter. She emphasized in 2016 that Dobson’s dedication to his craft and the quality of his work is second to none.

Along with his age, Dobson needed to stop working for his health. He’s had multiple heart surgeries and can no longer keep up with the demands of being a locksmith. But he holds a lifetime of knowledge, which he’s happy to share with Fried and Berry whenever they may need it.

Kenny’s Lock Shop is currently mobile but Fried said he’d like to open a storefront eventually. Kenny’s Lock Shop can be reached at (530) 643-3765.