I wonder what brand this safe is (was!)
19 years ago
I wonder what brand this safe is (was!)
I remember a photo of a vault in a desert after a nuclear explosion... Still standing... Shadow of it permanently burned into the ground.
This is a good story of buyer beware. Why hire a company that admits they are not safe breakers, I think they were safe breakers, and I will bet they sold a new safe out of the deal. The newspaper made heroes out of butchers. ( they cut a hole in the safe and reached in to remove the contents) what they did to the safe industry is like what pop a lock does for the locksmith industry.
Two things:1) They are an engineering firm, so I doubt they sold the guy a new safe.
2) I imagine they were hired because they had noone locally who was skilled enough to crack the safe as, apparently, you would have. Sounds to me like the releasing mechanism had seized up as they indicate in the story that the "safemaker" may have to pay for it. Without knowing more about this particular safe, we don't know if there was another way in.
What a complete load of crap! All they needed to do was drill one small hole. They butchered the safe and the customer was an idiot for not calling a locksmith because the smith would have saved the safe. Give me a break! I wonder how much the idiot got charged? Most likely a fortune compared to what a pro would have cost. I can see it now, this idiot most likely called a smith first. "How much would you charge to open my safe?" blah, blah... "That's too much!!!" Hah, Hah... The jokes on the safe owner. Screw him.
I might have been wrong thinking it was a lock shop that did this, they use the word engineer to describe many trades over there, but the point is the same why not call in a qualified company? You would think the co. that sold it would know someone to open it professionally, even the most highest security of safes can be opened with usually 1-2 holes with no worries of seting the contents on fire. and the second point on the reporting , way over glorified and inaccurate, like the point made on asbestos. my major bitch though is I want our occupation to be treated as professionals not butchers.
I would not be too harsh on these guys, they opened an inoperable jeweler's safe with no damage to the stuff inside. From the photo it also appears that they made a reasonably clean opening that might even be restored to it's original condition. Also if there was a warrantee issue, the cause of the lockout might be able to be determined as the door was not worked over.
These safes are a bugger to get into if you know exactly what is wrong, have all the good tools, and comprehensive knowledge of the inner workings.
Roger where did you see a picture at?
The key words in this article may well be "This is not our usual line of work, I'd like you to know,". One has to wonder if the openers took the most efficient route.
There is a picture with the article. It is partially obscurred by text on the page but you can see more if you just save the pic and view it only. It still only shows a partial view but it looks like they went through the top from the orientation of what appears to be a cash drawer inside. Note the thin material, although it looks like another layer of something may have been peeled away. It doesn't look to me to be very clean or professional. Reminds me of the first safe job I did years ago. Had no reference materials then and no clue where to drill. Little drop safe with 1/4 sides. Safe was loose and empty so cut a small hole in the floor removed back of lock (LG 3330) to get combo, opened it, and welded the floor back up. Not very professional but it worked and left the safe essentially good as new. In this case though it looks like they peeled away alot of something else to get to the thin material in the pic, or the safe was not very high security to begin with. It also looks like that hole only got them access to one compartment. Makes you wonder what they did to get to the others.
Usually jewelers safes just have adjustable shelves, so it would just be a matter of lifting them off one by one.
I will also disagree with your position that cutting a hole in the floor is not a perfectly valid technique to get the safe open. When you were done with the repair the safe was restored to its original condition, and when either bolted down or encased in concrete as these safes are usually installed there would be no clue you were ever there.
The first few times you are called upon to do a new thing you are never going to be as proficient as when you are doing it for the nth time.
I remember when 10 cut Fords were first out the task of fitting a key was rather daunting, but Thursday I knocked out a Taurus in 15 minutes no sweat. Had Milton, Dave or Dale been called on to open the safe, they probably would have used nifty borescopes and other expensive toys to accomplish the task. and they probably would have been able to do it on location rather than taking it back to the shop and when all was said and done they would have less work to repair the safe, but in the end it would have been the same result.
Hey Roger i saw the pic I had to use explorer as it did not show up on netscape. But i have 3 questions for you. first do you think the guys insurance will re insure that safe? second if you were the jeweler would you still trust it? third everybody has a skeleton in their closet about a safe that was not opened in the best manner but dont you think someone should have proper training before tackling a job they never done before? I know for a fact that safe could be opened on site with minimal damage and put back into service the same day in way under the 20 hours it took the butchers to do it.
The nearest competent safe technicians would have been 100 miles away in the capital city or 300 miles away in the other major city, and a cost estimate to open the safe may well have been horrendous. It does not help when you have a sparsely populated nation with a wide variety of safe types (and rumour had it that the former local Chubb plant did not always have proper 'as built' details of relockers on their safes). Bear in mind this is in a nation that prides itself on 'Kiwi' ingenuity and 8 gauge fencing wire solutions. Hence the scenario that ensued.
My guess would be a stuck fence in the combination lock - I have heard of a local shop manager hittng the safe with her shoe while completing the dial twirling.
This culture would also explain why IC cylinders are rare - lay people needing to change cylinders generally have DIY experience, and either change the cylinder themselves or install an additional cheap Tiwan lock.
This may well be true, although "horrendous" is a very subjective term, but the cost of the damage done to the safe has to be factored in.
It's tough to tell from the photo but it doesn't look like you would be able to get the shelf out of the way if that is the case, that might depend on what's below it but it doesn't look as though there's enough clearance to get it out the top or maneuver it out of the way unless you can somehow drop it below. If the shelf can be moved out of the way can the lock problem be corrected with access through the hole they cut? I don't know but it's a significant question if there is any consideration to returning the container to service, and I haven't ever seen any container other than one that was burgled where it was really justifiable to scrap it.
The main problem I see is that either the article exagerated the security of the safe of there was a lot of butchery in the peeling away of additional material rather than simply cutting a neat hole.
It was the best option I had back then, and admittedly not an especially bad one all things considered. It's still a good option in some cases since assuming only a lost combo and no mechanical failure the only repair required is simple welding, no waiting for or charge for parts. Given the same job now I would probably drill it, provided replacement parts were available within time constraints. I have never had any luck manipulating the LG locks. There's also the problem that usually they will be, or at least should be, securely bolted down.
That's all probably true but the question remains: can the safe even be satisfactorily repaired now? Whether it was worth it depends largely on the replacement cost of the safe. It's a shame to butcher something up for what might well have been a minor lock problem which might not have even required breaching the container. As someone metioned already a sticking fence or similar problem, which can often be corrected enough to get in with a few whackes with a dead blow hammer.
Your points here are all good ones but the blame might well not lie with the "butchers" the guy who did the opening or most of it, made no bones about the fact that that wasn't his/their expertise. Might have just been a case of the customer insisting for whatever reason, time constraints, bad reasoning with regard to overall cost, whatever that they open it rather than use someone more qualified.
Agreed. Interestingly there seem to be 4 - 5 real locksmiths (there is a University, military facility and a few research establishments nearby who AFAIK do not have institutional locksmihs) in the town who could at least have given advice even if it were to check with the insurance company before embarking on such a destructive mission.
Whether it was worth it depends largely on the
Seems to me we are all speculating about moot points. The jewler contacted the safe dealer and others before choosing to have it opened by the engineering firm. I'm sure if a qualified safeman was available the dealer would have recomended him.
The jewler probably had many customers that had weddings, or other special occasions that would have not been the same if weeks had gone by to ship someone in.
One other way to look at it is the safe dealer is in the business of selling safes, and I am sure he got a replacement sale out of this job. Not to mention the great publicity of it taking 2 days to get the safe open. Must be the best safe in the world..When I got into the safe industry 15 years ago the company I worked for was the largest distributor of fichets in the states, when we had a lockout fichet would tell us how to open the safe but the method would be the slowest and most difficult. Many of us will travel to open a safe the farthest I have gone has been Guam ( national locksmith did an article on it in the april 96 issue) by the time you factor in all the costs it would be cheaper to fly someone in.
" they probably would have used nifty borescopes and other expensive toys to accomplish the task."
This always kills me. The trunk slammer butchers will cut a hole in a safe rather than refer it to someone competent. And then defend their actions by calling the tools of the safe trade "expensive toys"
Dan Terrigno American Safe & Vault Service
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