Bump keys--learn about home safety

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by TwoCatDoctors, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    Article: Discover A Safety Threat You Should Know About

    For as little as $5, criminals can get a key that promises to open locked doors in seconds, and it's perfectly legal.

    A bump key is a special key that when tapped into locks can bump the pins inside, unlocking the door instead of picking the lock.

    The Internet is full of clips showing how to use, make and buy bump keys.

    CBS 5's Nicole Crites worked with local locksmith Ken Solomon to test bump keys in the Valley.

    In less than a minute, Crites had a key that looked like any other house key, but hers was filed down for burglary.

    After a few minutes of banging at the first door she tried, Crites decided that no crook would risk that amount of time.

    But she's no criminal.

    Solomon said burglars won't waste more than 30 seconds and showed her that it can be done.

    With a few taps, he was in.

    "A lot of people should question it: 'How easy is it to get into my house?' and then do something about it," Solomon said.

    Burglary victim Lou Snow started a neighborhood block watch after his home was broken into and said it makes him sick to think burglars are coming up with more ways to rob people.

    "It's very shocking for a typical resident to know that that's on the Internet and that anyone has access to that," Snow said.

    "It just came to our attention probably back in September," said Tempe Officer William Vanek.

    Vanek remembered a man who insisted he'd locked the doors before his shop was ransacked.

    "It could be the lock was picked or a bump key was used, or just somebody left the door unlocked," Vanek said.

    It's impossible to know for sure. Bump keys don’t damage locks and leave no evidence behind.

    Vanek sent out an alert to his patrol squads this week warning that at a burglary scene with no signs of forced entry, a bump key may have been used.

    "Bob the Burglar" is a reformed felon who now works in crime prevention. He said he's familiar with bump keys and he's not a fan.

    "It's not worth the time, not worth the hassle and nine times out of 10 they're not gonna work. Keeps you on the scene too long," he said.

    "You don't have to make a prison out of your house but you gotta just make it hard enough so they go down the street or someplace else and leave you alone," Solomon said.

    Snow knows layers of protection will decrease the odds of becoming a victim -- safety doors, alarm systems, building up backyard walls. Even dogs can help scare away burglars.

    Short of installing all those measures, there's one thing everyone already has: neighbors.

    Bump keys are legal to have unless a person is caught with one in the act of a crime. The good news is that there are bump resistant locks on the market.


    But there are ways you can protect yourself.

    The best option is to hire a locksmith to come to your house and retool your locks.

    It’s an expensive choice, but very effective. It is important if you are buying a new home, because those locks were originally tooled for several keys.

    If you’re looking for a less expensive option, consider buying new locks.

    At the store, look for locks marked with Underwriters Laboratory (UL) 437.

    A couple brands with locks that fit this level are Schlage and Medeco.

    Remember, locks are not your only defense against burglars. Police suggest making the house look like someone is home and meeting your neighbors.

    You may also want to talk to your local police department about forming a neighborhood watch group.

    FROM: http://www.kpho.com/featuredstories/11033351/detail.html
    [This Message was Edited on 03/04/2009]
  2. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Will this key also work on dead bolt locks?

    Something else I want to add and don't want to get your post off topic. Most homeowners have insurance that may cover things that are taken by a burglar. However, since many of us rent, you can get renters insurance. It is not very expensive at all. It covers your personal belongings. The landlord would be responsible for structual damage of the apartment. That is why the renters insurance is less costly.

    Just adding my two cents worth.
  3. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    I quickly searched online and the same companies that makes bump proof locks makes bump proof dead bolt locks. So yes, bump keys can work on dead bolt lumps unless they are bump proof.