Utah Locksmith Saves Kidnapped Woman Who Wrote “911” On Her Hand

“She gave me some great clues that there was an issue there,” he says.

October 08, 2020

Mugshot of Grant Eggersten [KSTU/Wasatch County Sheriff's Office]

Mugshot of Grant Eggersten [KSTU/Wasatch County Sheriff's Office]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

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A Utah man is accused of assault and kidnapping after he allegedly held his ex-girlfriend against her will and a locksmith came to the rescue by interpreting the woman’s secret plea for help.

On Oct. 2, the locksmith arrived for a pre-arranged appointment at the alleged victim’s Midvale home to change her front door lock, according to a police affidavit obtained by the Deseret News.

The locksmith — identified for safety reasons only by his first name, Greg — told Salt Lake City’s KSTU that during the appointment “there was a gentleman that was kind of hovering over” the woman and “wouldn't get really more than a foot away from her.”

Greg left the home to make a set of new keys for the door. When he returned from his van, he said, the woman signaled she needed help.

“She's sitting there talking to me about what types of payment I take and everything, and she's kind of turning, she's at a little bit of a different angle and she's holding up her hand.”

The woman had written “911” on her palm.

“So obviously, that drew some attention from me,” Greg said, “but I was wearing a mask, so I couldn't mouth anything to her or anything.”

The locksmith said the woman had to ask the man allegedly holding her captive to give her access to her cell phone so she could pay for the service call via Venmo.

“That kind of was another little red flag," Greg said. “She's showing me the ‘911’ again, kind of making sure that I saw it. And I made eye contact with her, to basically let her know that yeah, I saw it.”

Once back outside, the locksmith called law enforcement for help.

When Wasatch County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the home and knocked, the woman “quickly opened the door and walked fast out the front door and stated that he was downstairs in the house,” the affidavit states.

Deputies arrested Grant Nielsen Eggertsen, 45, and charged him with trespassing, assault, and aggravated kidnapping in the course of committing unlawful detention.

“When I found out that he had been arrested, charged and stuff, I was kind of like, ‘Okay, good. Good. That's good,’” the locksmith told KSTU. “I'm glad that the woman, the lady, is safe and that nothing bad happened.”

According to the affidavit, Eggertsen previously dated the woman, and he was upset she had moved on with someone else.

Eggertsen, who still had a key to his ex-girlfriend’s home, showed up there unannounced the evening prior to the locksmith appointment.

“She asked him to leave multiple times and he would not leave and he was holding her in her room against her will,” the affidavit states.

The suspect also took the woman’s cell phone and threatened to harm himself and burn down her house, the document adds.

Greg the locksmith noted the alleged victim was “pretty smart to be able to do what she did.”

He added: “She gave me some great clues that there was an issue there.”

"Greg" the hero locksmith who called law enforcement [KTSU]

"Greg" the hero locksmith who called law enforcement [KTSU]