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Friday, March 29, 2024

F³ Practice 58

             A bank job, even when it’s the private deposit boxes of the Fairhaven Club, require a lot of preparation. In this case, specifically, it required me to up my game. As it turned out, Nikki had a box at the Club, and showed me the key.

            From that, I was able to tell quite a bit about the lock. Thanks to Youtube, I had been able to actually practice the interesting and useful skill of lockpicking. It was a small side gig to open people’s homes and car doors when they locked themselves out. But I had never attempted anything on the security level of a safe deposit box.

            The key showed it was an eight-pin tumbler. At least I wouldn’t need to use a specialty tool to deal with disc detainer locks. Immediately, I ruled out being able to use a comb, rake, or a bump key to quickly get into the box. This was going to take a lot of tool-work. Fortunately, the internet provided me with the names of deposit box manufacturers, and the basics of the security measures they employed.

            Obviously, there were the security pins: mushrooms, spools, serrated, and combinations thereof. Some even had a second set of pins, which would require picking the lock a second time to unlock it.

            I ordered a vintage box lock off ebay, but while it was being shipped, I practiced on regular locks with those pins. Jen watched me and timed me as I worked on it in the office.

            “Three minutes, Matt.”

            It wasn’t a lot of time, at least on this attempt, but the previous attempt had taken me half an hour, and I was getting frustrated. I kept going back through the pins with my pick, feeling the fourth pin sticking. As I pushed, the tension I applied to rotate lock wanted to go back. I let it, slightly. This was likely a serrated pin, and I needed to get it out of the “false set.” Unfortunately, I eased too much on the counterrotation. The pin moved into place, but it was too easy a movement. I certainly had lost the rest of the pins I had picked, and would virtually have to start over.”

            “I need a break,” I declared, my fingers aching.

            “Yeah, you’re not as good as the guy on Youtube.”

            “Give me a break, Jen. That guy can pick anything in under five minutes. I’m still learning.”

            “What about brute force?”

            “A hammer or screwdriver or something?”

            “Yeah, why not?”

            “Too easy to notice the damage, afterward. I don’t of a way to destructively get in without it being obvious it happened.”

            “Well, you better get back to practicing, then.”

            I sighed.

            It’s a bank job. There’s no shortcuts to doing it right.

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