Finally, someone provided a news report focused on a key figure named Meni Agababayev (aka Meni Aga) a self proclaimed Israeli Russian "Mobster" actor, who is behind a roving enterprise of websites identified as Run Local. According to Agababayev, these are successful businesses which he is involved in and which financed his personal movie called MOBSTER!
Special shout out to ABC News program called "The Lookout". they did a bang up job that was well developed and well delivered. The giant Google map pins were a priceless subliminal message about Google Places. Overall it was refreshing to witness.
One person who disagrees with Agababayev is an inside informant identified as "Ben", who makes it clear that he is afraid of the scary side of notorious locksmith syndicates who consist of recent immigrants recruited from Israel. These folks identify Americans as stupid and from this belief they conduct their enterprise.
The SOPL has for many years made it very clear to everyone that these individuals are not locksmiths at all, but many news reports and other locksmith associations have continued to identify them as locksmiths. This was being done intentionally to try to link an agenda of forcing licensing upon the hardworking locksmiths, and to demonize home based or mobile locksmiths who have done nothing wrong and are not engaging in such deceptive events.
The fact is, this news report clearly demonstrates how licensing DOES NOT work since the scammers continue to operate in the states which do have require a license such as New Jersey where it was filmed. If it turns out one of these individuals has a license, then it is an even better example! But this is another story so stay tuned for PART 2 of this story!
Licensing has nothing to do with stopping a mobster or anyone from impersonating any trade or consumer service group and locksmiths are not the only ones being misrepresented. Carpet cleaning, towing, garage door services and more are also being targets. Basically any service industry!
In 2006 the SOPL LockRadio program interviewed 2 Israeli locksmiths who shared their experience with this syndicate. Mike Bronzell who stayed the course suffered terrible insults and accusations from many individuals in the locksmith industry and forum discussion groups as he was trying to get people to hear his concerns. I wonder how these individuals feel now?
So Meni Agababayev with all his chutzpha feels you have to be a "biter", but it appears he has been bitten himself. Judging from the distortion of his face when confronted by Bill Weir, it seems to be a hard and uncomfortable chomp! For a guy who views himself as being comfortable portraying a mobster, he looked more like a dumb schmuck.
As an Israeli you may think Mike Bronzell and Ira Cheek are stupid. You may refer to all of the apple pie eating, flag waving, baseball playing American citizens whatever you wish, but in the end it was Meni Agababayev who was exposed to be nothing more than a "B" rate bit actor, a wannabe mobster..... but not a qualified professional locksmith.
It takes more skill and integrity to be a locksmith!
The worlds a stage....OYE VEY!
Public Service Announcement - Install a Mechanical Combination or Digital Push Button Lock on your home and never be locked out again. Print the $20 coupon found in the provided video frame buttons and the SOPL will help you find a local locksmith you can trust.
Mike Bronzell is a good locksmith and more importantly, a good man. I have personally witnessed him investing many volunteer hours in his endeavors to protect the consumer and the community of professional locksmiths. As he traveled around the country, often on long lonesome highways he would always keep his gritty Chicago wit and humor. Ultimately, Mike was the victor and he should receive the highest praise from his peers. Well Done Mike!