Thief. The Score. Rififi. Bonnie and Clyde. What do all four of these movies have in common? They each feature some of the best safe cracking scenes in movie history. What is safe cracking like in real life? Is it like it is in the movies? Our locksmiths weigh in.
Most people’s first exposure to the concept of safe-cracking comes from watching the criminals in the movies as they break into a bank and expertly crack the code in less than ten seconds, just by putting their ear on the safe.
The reality of safe cracking is that it is not nearly as easy to do and not quite as dramatic as it appears to be in the movies. Still, breaking into your home safe in order to retrieve your valuables that are trapped inside can be pretty exciting.
There is a definite thrill in cracking the unknown code to a safe, but it’s more akin to solving a Rubik’s cube puzzle than to skydiving from outer space.
Every safe in world can be cracked.
Much as its inventors might try to disagree, each safe has its weekness. When you think about it, this reasoning makes a lot of sense, because if the safe was built by human ingenuity, then it stands to reason that by really putting thought into it, a skilled expert should be able to figure out how to unlock even a superior-quality safe. Once it is clear that a safe has some sort of vulnerability, if we can pinpoint the vulnerability, we’ll be able to target that weak spot and break our way into the safe.
There are some pretty expensive, specialty tools on the market that professional locksmiths use when opening safes. These tools help save a lot of time and make safecracking a whole lot easier. There are some people who would rather try to pry open a safe by using a lot of force.
Our locksmith technicians don’t generally recommend this method because many safes come with backup locks that when triggered as the safe takes a beating, lock the safe even more tightly, making it that much more difficult to break into. It’s important to note that just as there is no one way to solve a Rubik’s cube, only practical tips that can help you out, so to, there is no one way to crack a safe.
So what exactly are those criminals in the movies doing when they listen to their safe? What they are actually pretending to do is figure out the combination length by listening for the clicks that the lock dial make. You can try this technique at home without needing very many tools. All you need to do is listen for the clicks (ideally with the use of a stethoscope) and then mark it on a chart. This will enable you to find the combination more easily. This method should be able to give you the results you’re looking for, but it will take a while to complete.
If you try this at home, be prepared to have a lot of patience!
If you try this method, but you see that you still need a little assistance to get your locked or jammed safe open, don’t worry about it! Our Locksmiths Pros are available to help you get into any safe that you have that needs cracking. Happy Cracking!