Safe Opening: Stories From The Past

Bits from the Industry > Safe Opening: Stories From The Past

Safe, safe openingAsk any safe cracker, and they will tell you that safe opening is an art. It has evolved throughout time to accommodate the increased security features in today’s safes. Many times, safe opening is performed with drill jigs, special drill bits, or drill templates.

However, there are times where the art of lock manipulation is required; particularly when the safe container, itself, is a valuable relic.

There are three stories that come to mind where safe crackers had to use the fine art of lock manipulation.

Safe Opening: Personality, History, and a Rescue

Harry Miller: No Pay, No Play

My grandfather, Harry Miller, was a world-renowned safe cracker and lock inventor. Throughout his career, he invented the first manipulation-proof lock, served as the president of Sargent & Greenleaf, started Lockmasters, assisted the government, and received many high recognitions.

That being said, it’s no surprise that if a safe opening seemed impossible, Harry was called in.

One time, he received a call from a diplomat who, after multiple attempts by various safe technicians, was unable to open his safe. The diplomat flew my grandfather across the country and agreed to pay him a large sum of money.

The safe whiz that he was, Harry walked in and manipulated the safe open…in 10 minutes. After the diplomat saw how quickly Harry opened the safe,he refused to pay him the pre-arranged amount. After a bit of back and forth, Harry simply closed the safe, re-locked it, and went on his merry way.

Elaad Israeli: Susan B. Anthony and a Piece of History

Elaad Israeli with Precision Lock and Safe in Floral Park, New York, is a technician we regularly call on, especially for safe work.

Women’s rights advocate Susan B. Anthony’s old safe was located at the National Council of Women in Manhattan and had been there—unopened—for at least 15 years. The council decided it was time to unlock a piece of history and open the safe, so they called on Elaad.

News crews were there to film the historic event. After a few minutes, Elaad opened the safe to find old certificates of incorporation, a replica gavel, old prints, and other interesting documents.

Ron Sniveley: Toddler Bank Rescue

Ron Snively with Protection Lock and Equipment is another of the LockNet trusted technicians.

In 2011, Ron received an emergency call to rescue a 14-month-old baby who had been locked in a bank vault. The toddler was visiting her grandmother who worked at the bank and wandered off. It was time to close, and an employee didn’t realize the child was in the vault when he/she secured the vault for the night.

When they realized the child was missing, they quickly reviewed security footage and saw the little girl inside the vault.

As you can imagine, bank vaults are incredibly secure. Rescue workers pumped air into the vault for four hours while Ron opened the vault.

Have you heard of other interesting safe opening stories? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear about them!

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