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How to crack safes (house safes)

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| H O W T O O P E N S A F E S |
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| Written by Night Breeze |
| FUN! Burglar turned Hacker PROFIT! |
| January 1992 |
| |
| This phile cannot be modified without express permission |
| from the author. Fuck the copyright laws, I'll kick your ass! |
| |

In this document, I attempt to explain four methods for "cracking" home safes
that do not need years of experience or too much practice. THIS PHILE IS FOR

There are many ways to open or "crack" a safe. Some are very advanced, and
some are by pure brute force. Many of the advance techniques require years of
study and practice; often learned while incarcerated. In fact, many techniques
are often learned while in prison, since invariably, the best pros make their
homes there. The technique choosen for a safe is often based on the type of
safe, in fact, some techniques are so specific, that they rely on exact makes
and models of a particular brand. In recent years, safes are so scientifically
exact that trying to crack them is an execise in futility for everyone but the
most skilled Cracker. Obviously, this document will not be able to convey the
many subtleties of the advanced techniques, however, there are many, many,
safes out there that are perfectly crackable with only the barest of tools and
the most modest of methods.

A professional cracker chooses the safe that they will open before they ever
get to it. Many are specialists in a particular style of safe and spend days
"casing" a potential hit, but we, as amateurs, won't worry about that. The
goal here is to allow the common house burgler who happens to find a safe and
thinks "Cool, I think I'll try those techniques I read about.". The safes
that are most easily opened are those older safes often found in the basements
of the older houses in middle-lower middle class neighborhoods, since often,
these houses used to be considered upper-middle class and many contains safes.
Often these safes were embedded in the wall or floor, oh, say 30-40 years ago,
AND ARE STILL BEING USED! Most people see a safe and feel they can trust it
against burglers, and put all of their neat and valuable things in them.
Misplaced trust.

So, to recap, what we are looking for is an older safe, usually a dull, enamel
black color in walls, or round grey safes found in the floors. If you are
sacking a condo or a house in a nice, modern, neighborhood, don't waste your
time on it...Now for some techniques...


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* GOLDEN RULE: Don't spend more than 20 minutes trying to crack a safe on *
* site. What happens is that you will become engrossed in it *
* and will forget about time. We know what could happen then. *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sounds pretty crude, and it is. This technique works best with a rather
large person on a wall safe or a stand-alone safe. Older safes are built
very sturdy, however, the weakest point on the safe is the bottom. If the
safe is in the wall or floor, use an axe and hack it out. We are talking
about a heavy two-handed axe, not a wimpy one handed job. Get the safe out
and turn it over so it's top is on the floor. Then start whacking on it with
the sharp side of the axe in the center of the safe. You might be surprised
to learn that the larger safes are easier to open than the smaller safes. Try
to hack a "slice" into it as long as you can, but it's a waste of time if it
is longer than 1/2 of the safe's width. Then, using the crow-bar and the
handle or head of the axe, lever the opening large enough to get your arm into
it. Then turn the safe onto it's side and reach in for the stash. Two words
of caution here: 1. This can be loud so it's not recommended in quiet 'hoods,
and, 2. Many of the older safes are lined with asbestos. If you see white,
flakey material, make sure that you brush all of the material away before
reaching in since you probably don't have health insurance covering such
"occupational" hazards.

Although it sounds like a brute-force method, actually, in it's time it was
fairly sophisicated. This is my personal favorite. Behind every safe's dial
is a gizzmo called a "spindle". The spindle is what the dial mechanism will
turn until the right combination is given and the spindle is in the right
position and the lock will open (see figure 1).

Mechanism +----+
Dial +-++ / | | <-- Punch
\ | || | |
+-----+ || ||||||||| <- Tumblers | |
| ||--v----v--- | |
| ||-----^---^- | |
+-----+ || ||||||||| \ | |
| || Spindle ||
+-++ ||

figure 1 figure 2

Well, we don't have the time or the skill to open the safe by "ear", so what
we do it pick up our trusty Sledge Hammer and whack off the dial. This can
take two or three blows, (or four or five if you're a wimp), but the dial
-will- come off. Now comes the do or die part. These spindles were casted in
steel for years. About twenty years ago they started making the spindles
using lead. If you get a Lead Spindle safe you gotta give it up right then or
move on to another technique (remember the golden rule). If you are lucky,
then you have a steel spindle and the next step proceeds. Take a tempered
steel punch, see figure 2, which you got at a hardware store, and place the
tip of the punch on the newly exposed spindle end. If you don't see it, it
is covered, but is located (90% on older safes) in the center below the dial.
Then pound on it with your handy-dandy sledge hammer until you feel a) the
punch just seems to sink further in, like in clay, or b) you suddenly feel a
release. If you think you are in (a), then you have a lead spindle and you
are out of luck, but if you have a sharp release, then you are home free for
the spindle snapped. Now you can take try the door, or if it still doesn't
open, take a screw driver and try to get the spindle out. The door should
then open freely for your pleasure....

Now we are starting to talk about some more advanced techniques. Using a
drill always requires a bit of knowledge about the safe. Or the time and
place to experiment (see the Helpful Hints at the bottom of this doc). All
safes have a lever, that you turn to open the door. This lever is "locked" in
place until the right combination is entered. What would happen if we broke
that lever? The handle would turn, right? Well, most of the time... There
are often two or three shafts connected to the lever involved in the door's
handle (see figure 3). If one or more of these shafts are broken, then you
can get in.
*------------------------------* <-- Safe
| + |
| *------------------+-----* |
| | shaft 2 --> + | |
| ||| 1 + Handle
| | ___ \ + / | |
| | dial-> / \++++O=== | |
| | \___/ + | |
| | / + | |
| ||| shaft 3 + | <--- Safe Door
| | + | |
| *------------------+-----* |
| + |
figure 3

You must have a extra-hardened drill bit about 1/4 inch in size. What you
want to aim for is to drill a how into the front of the door so your bit
drills through the various shafts. You first start with Shaft #1, for this
shaft is connected to the dial. Don't worry if you have to drill two or three
times (as long as the Golden Rule is watched), but you got to drill right
through the shaft. Shaft #1 is the best because it make be enought to open
the door right away. If not, then the best bet is to drill one or two inches
below the dial, and if it still does not turn, then an inch or two above the
dial. The door should open. In 99% of the cases, the shafts are arranged as
a sideways T to the right of the dial. The more modern safes have double
shafts in the 2 and 3 positions, which makes it a lot harder to drill out,
not to mention harder metal, etc.

This is both a brute-force and a hight sophisticated method of opening a safe.
It does require GOOD knowledge of using Plastique, TNT, or your favorite Bang
Powder. The technique is simple and obvious. It is also obvious that you got
to have the safe in a rather secluded place (you would be surprised at the
number of burglarized houses that sport a hole in the living room...). You
place the explosive on the dial or handle and KA-FUCKIN-BOOM! Now most people
who try this for the first (or second, or third...) time will end up with
SQUAT. You see, if you don't use enough explosive you don't open the safe. If
you use too much explosive, you blow the fuck out of everything in the safe.
Now I've only used this technique once, since I am normally nervous about
handling things that go boom, but this is what I was advised to do (and did
successfully): Use less explosive than you think you should (unless you know
EXACTLY how much to put on) and detonate it. The door will be damaged but not
opened. The trick is to keep using the same amount (or slightly less) each
time as the door will be weakened each time it explodes. Don't use a little
and increase it, thinking you will build up to the right amount. The other
trick is to remember that explosives are called explosives because they
explode OUT. This means that you want to place the explosives on the dial and
place the safe on the ground so it sits ON THE DOOR. This way the explosive
will bounce off of the ground back to the safe. Remember, always let the safe
cool before trying to get everything out of it - high explosives make the edges
of a open safe awful hot. The last tip is to make sure you're covered, 'cause
if you use too much, safes are known to kill people when they fall on your

There are not many, but they should still be kept in mind.

1. The Golden Rule: Don't spend more than 20 minutes trying to crack a
safe on site.

2. If the safe can be carted away, DO IT. This gives you the ability
to try more esoteric ways of opening it...And it's more fun than a
Rubic's Cube.

3. When using a drill, make sure they are case hardened (don't worry
about using so-called diamond drills), and that you carry at least
two extras (a total of three) in case they snap. Also, pace your-
self while drilling so the drill-bit does not get too hot and snap.

4. With every really great haul, consider buying a safe. This gives
you ample opportunity to examine and experiment with more techniques
advanced techniques.

5. Never brag about your exploits. Professional Crackers won't ever
teach you anything if they think they are going to be compromised.

This quality file was downloaded from

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