Gadget Show A Safe Bet

Fans who consider both this website and The Gadget Show on Channel 5 as “must sees” will have been given a treat when the erstwhile team of presenters were each given the challenge of breaking into a high security safe. If they failed to crack their respective safes the contents – apparently embarrassing clips of their previous incarnations on the Box – would be posted on YouTube or the like.

I was heartened that three of the 5 high security safes provided for the challenge are available from this website, the Phoenix CitadelSentry QE Datasafe, SecureLine Professional S2 and the mighty Burton Magnum.

Any professional Locksmiths and Safe Crackers viewing proceedings would no doubt have been entirely unimpressed by the efforts of the motley crew. At the outset they dismissed the prospect of manipulating the lock wheel pack as too fiddly and proceeded to try and simply destroy the safes.  In sequence they first used a digger and bucket to drop from a “great height” which looked like about 15 foot, they then attacked the casing with an angle grinder which was no match for the cobalt steel plate reinforcing and finally tried to blow the safe door off using PETN an industrial explosive.

Needless to say not one of the safes was opened in the process not even the traditional key lock Secureline Professional cash Safe. The Gadget Show team may have been better advised to do some research on the design of combination locks and the intricacies of contact points, drive pins and fences.

To be fair the most popular method of safecracking is to simply steal the safe and move it to where the safecracker has the time and equipment to take the safe apart. This is not always that easy if the safe owner takes advantage of the secure boltdown facility on most safes – they would have to remove part of the floor or wall along with the safe. In these circumstances the safecracker must attack the locking mechanism the majority of which like the Burton Magnum have already survived rigorous attack testing to BS1143-1.

Despite the high security of the safes chosen every safe must be accessible in some way to a locksmith in the event of a malfunction or lock-out. This requirement introduces a fundamental weakness that forms the basis of the locksmiths art and the would-be safecracker. However it is an art and there is apparently a world champion safe breaker to prove it in the guise of American Jeff Sitar who is by the way gainfully and legitimately employed as a locksmith.

To view the Gadget Show video follow this link http://fwd.channel5.com/gadget-show/videos/challenge/surprise-special-part-3