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Don Cheadle Ocean's 11 - The W1nners' Club


“…………and anyway, you can’t fire me because I QUIT!”

Remember those words? Despite it being over 6 months and 12 interviews ago, you remember the day you left your last job as if it were yesterday.

Whilst on the subject of yesterday, you’re still recovering from the hangover you now have after spending all your dole money on Frosty Jack cider. This can’t go on. Sooner or later you’ll have to get another job and as conventional opportunities were put paid to by the foul language you graced your line manager with upon being given your marching orders, a change of career seems to be your next logical step.

Have you considered becoming a safe cracker?

The wages can be decent and you’ll have to work alone which thankfully means no more office politics.

If attaching explosives to bank vault doors and digging tunnels is your thing, here’s are some of the skills you’ll need in order to become successful:

1.    Manipulating locks


Lock manipulation is the holy grail of safe cracking. The process involves opening a safe without damaging it in any way and in order to be successful using this method you’ll need to have tremendous patience, an understanding of the mechanical principles behind locks and an in-depth knowledge of various safe manufacturers. This method requires few tools and is the most discreet approach to take.

Likelihood of getting caught: 4/10 – This method is only really for the most talented of safe crackers.

2.    Pure guesswork


It sounds surprising but in some instances a bit of guesswork may be all that’s required to crack a safe. Combinations can often be easily deciphered as owners will tend to set the locks to easy-to-guess combinations like birthdays, addresses, or licence plate numbers etc.

Likelihood of getting caught: 1/10 – It helps if the safe you’re cracking is owned by your other half

3.    Use an auto-dialler


Auto-diallers are another effective device that can be used to open safes. Be warned however that real life devices don’t open any combination in a matter of seconds like you see in the movies. Most are specific to a particular type of lock and have to cycle through many thousands of combinations before the safe can be opened.

Likelihood of getting caught: 6/10 – The police may arrive before your dialler does its job

4.    Drilling


Some safes can be compromised by drilling. Access can be gained by either drilling a hole that allows the safe cracker to view the mechanism of the internal lock, or the hole can be used to manipulate the bolt mechanism physically by bypassing the combination lock.

Likelihood of getting caught: 7/10 – Unless it’s a Black and Decker……….in which case a healthy 8!

5.    Use brute force


Explosives can be used to inflict severe damage on the safe enabling it to be opened. Other penetration tools that can be used are Acetylene torches and thermic lances. You’ll need to be careful with this approach as there is a risk that the contents of the safe could get damaged.

Likelihood of getting caught: 8/10 – You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!

6.    X-ray methods


X-ray radiation can be used to reveal a lock’s internal mechanism to aid the deduction of the combination. Be warned however that some locks have a lead shield around them so even Superman would have a tough time cracking it.

Likelihood of getting caught: 6/10 – Depending on whether or not you’re Superman

7.    Good old fashioned tunnelling


Underground bank vaults can be compromised using digging equipment. You’ll need to beware of any patrol passages around the underground vaults that are sometimes placed there to detect tunnelling attempts early on.

Likelihood of getting caught: 9/10 – Hatton Gardens anyone?

8.    Safe bouncing


Cheaper household safes can often be compromised by dropping the unit or striking it on its side. The more expensive designs use a gear mechanism that prevents the pin in the lock being moved percussively.

Likelihood of getting caught: 6/10 – Bouncing safes is only so safe…..


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