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Is it better or worse that more people learn about lock bumping?


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#1 ropeadope

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 09:13 AM

A friend of mine locked himself out of his house yesterday, and it was me and my bump keys to the rescue. It's very nice to be able to provide this service. I just do it as a hobby, and go long periods of time without bumping anything. It's not a skill that I've needed very often, but it has REALLY come in handy and made me much happier. Thanks to theopratr for all the help.

Now, back to the topic: After helping out my buddy get back into his house, I came home to a surprising coincidence. The Local news was promoting an investigation they were doing about bump keys, showing a local young guy using a screwdriver/bump key to open locks. It hasn't aired yet, but they are promoting this upcoming segment a lot, every day. In a semi-selfish way I don't want other people to know about bumping locks, just because It's nice to have a (somewhat) unique skill. But, maybe it's better people know about it. On the other hand, as more people learn about bumping, more criminals will emerge.

Bump keys have spiked up in popularity extremely over the past year 1/2 or so. Though, still, not many people know what it is and have never heard of it. While it's not near as easy as most people present it, it's a skill that can be acquired pretty easily in a week or so.

My local news probably won't do much on a large scale as to alerting people about bump keys. Maybe 10k people will see it. I feel like most people across the World will still be clueless when it comes to bump keys. What will it take for hundreds of millions of more people to find out about bump keys? They are a big threat, and it's scary how easy it is. It's also kinda scary how long this technique has been around. There are definitely a lot of crimes being committed with bump keys as I speak.

about 60% of the US is still using Kwikset locks, bought from hardware shops for under $20, the easiest kind to bump most would agree. Another 20% is probably Schlage locks, also pretty easy. There are also millions of Masterlocks out there, very common, and very bumpable.

Seeing how bumping is a huge security concern, I wonder how long it will take until, say, 1 out of every 4 people knows about it. Also wondering what it will take to get the word out to many many more people on a global scale. Maybe it will just take time and millions more will learn about it each year from word of mouth or the internet, or local news stories. Even when people learn about bumping locks, what action will they actually take? They would have to replace 2, 3, or more locks in their house (doors with entry from the outside). They would have to get locks that are un-bumpable, now we're talking big bucks. That's a lot of money to invest for most people. Even though it's worth it, otherwise it's almost like having no locks on any of your doors. Will most people actually improve their security after hearing about bump keys? I wonder, and kind of doubt it.

So, I predict after hearing about bump keys, most people will not take the time or invest the money to upgrade their home's security. This is why I think bump keys will be around for a long time to come. Thieves will still be using them, as long as most people don't do anything about it. Certainly not everyone who uses bump keys is a criminal. But as long as bump keys work, people will use them for robbery and such.

If 100 million people learn about bump keys in the next year, what % of people will actually improve their security, and what % of people will use this bumping technique to commit crimes? I'm curious to see how it turns out. I think It will still be better that the word gets out on bump keys, around the world. If people know about bumping, do nothing to improve their security, and get their house/business broken into, it's half their fault. Live and learn. Unfortunately I think most people will have to learn the hard way about bump keys.

Sorry if similar topics have been brought up a lot before already. I couldn't sleep and felt like writing :)
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#2 BLK

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 11:46 AM

Hobby is the key word in paragraph 1. In TN you could be charged with operating as a locksmith without a license or arrested for carrying locksmith tools without a license or for carrying burglary tools. (And when you were convicted they would put you in a cell with Big Tyrone and tell him that you molested children.) Of course if you are a person of upright character, you probably will not be doing stupid stuff that would draw undo attention from the local authorities to yourself.

The local news bunch is jumping on the bandwagon to spred this sensational news! You can find a bunch of news reports via google and you tube. Liberal media just loves giving criminals information to improve their skills....don't get me started. Also, see the post on this forum about the Rivera brothers in Florida that were allegedly involved in B & E and robbery using bump keys.

The popularity is directly related to the liberal media....free advertising!

There have been national news stories and the different "wires" have run stories on the use of bump keys....more free advertising!

Most of the locksmiths interviewed in the news stories get a spike in business for their higher security locks....what? the media is helping small business owners with free advertising???:eek:

High security locks are expensive and most people will not afford them. There are less expensive alternatives to help prevent bumping but most of them are for when the house/office/building is occupied.

The point of concern is not how many people in the general population find out about bump keys, but how many crooks, thugs and nere-do-wells find out and start using them?

Culpability? Who is at fault will be for the courts to decide. How have people, and crooks in particular, found out about bump keys? Loud mouth locksmiths and sensationalist liberal media types. I have my opinions but will keep them to myself on this forum.
Bump it to the next level.

#3 Customer Support

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 11:47 AM

I can't get over how long of a reply you guys can type up. I'm at a loss of how to word what I'm thinking (it happens often). :confused:

I really don't think it matters much security wise (looking at it from a criminals point of view) that local news runs stories about lock bumping. It's the general consensus of quite a few good people that if someone wants into a locked building they are GOING to get in one way our another.

You mentioned free advertising... while we don't really see a huge influx of orders when lock bumping is mentioned on the news, I guess it never hurts. The only thing

The one thing I truly hope all this media attention brings is 'lock manufacture reform'. It sounds cheesy like, a political scheme, but SOMETHING needs to be done to 'fix' these 'broken' locks.
The bump key biz is NOT our main business. We simply don't make enough money from it to solely concentrate on it. As such, if\when lock manufactures actually fix their products we will not be hurting and we'll still have a job.

I know some locksmith friends that worry about consumers having bump keys. Their thinking is if YOU are able to pick a lock then you won't call us. I've got to imagine most people don't actually carry keys around with them 24/7, maybe a few on here, but not most people. I think our line of work is safe.

I almost forgot: Liberal media ? I can't think of any media that is liberal. ;0

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#4 BLK

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 02:45 PM

I can't get over how long of a reply you guys can type up. I'm at a loss of how to word what I'm thinking (it happens often). :confused:

I really don't think it matters much security wise (looking at it from a criminals point of view) that local news runs stories about lock bumping. It's the general consensus of quite a few good people that if someone wants into a locked building they are GOING to get in one way our another.

You mentioned free advertising... while we don't really see a huge influx of orders when lock bumping is mentioned on the news, I guess it never hurts.

The one thing I truly hope all this media attention brings is 'lock manufacture reform'. It sounds cheesy like, a political scheme, but SOMETHING needs to be done to 'fix' these 'broken' locks.
The bump key biz is NOT our main business. We simply don't make enough money from it to solely concentrate on it. As such, if\when lock manufactures actually fix their products we will not be hurting and we'll still have a job.

I know some locksmith friends that worry about consumers having bump keys. Their thinking is if YOU are able to pick a lock then you won't call us. I've got to imagine most people don't actually carry keys around with them 24/7, maybe a few on here, but not most people. I think our line of work is safe.

I almost forgot: Liberal media ? I can't think of any media that is liberal. ;0


Long post=many previews and edits...at least for me.

The lock industry will not fix this any time soon. It is just not a priority.

I sell more locks to people who have tried to open it themselves. Give them bump keys so I can extract them after they are broken off in the locks.

I agree that for most criminals bump keys would not matter. Kicking a door in or breaking a window is much quicker and does not take any time to learn how to do.

PULEEASE! Just try to think a little harder about the liberal media. I am sure you can come up with 1 or 2 THOUSAND names of people in the liberal media in just a couple of minutes.:cool:
Bump it to the next level.

#5 MontrealHomegrown

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 05:18 PM

interesting post.. cool topic, I think the more people learn about it the higher the demand for bump proof locks.. but of course alot of criminals will emerge from it as well.

#6 pickbuster

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 03:36 PM

When I first heard about lock bumping, I was concerned, but I wasn't about to put my hands in my pockets and pay to replace all my locks.

Mind you I'm the sort of guy who goes to the local shops and forgets to lock the door. Actually I once left it wide open. Came back 30 minutes later to find my sons school-friend stood in our hallway with a bemused look on her face. :eek:

I think my point is - lock bumping is a problem so many people have, but general apathy is always going to be enough to prevent anyone rushing to buy new locks. I'd probably consider specifying bump proof locks on any new exterior doors I buy though.

#7 Gobias

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 10:28 AM

You always got to remember the criminal credo (actually I don't but I bet it's a credo somewhere) is that there's always another and better way in. If they can't get in the front door, they will use a window or something.

#8 Rogue

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 07:18 PM

I get calls all the time from paranoid people who see some outlandish news report on "the spreading crime wave of bump keys" (scary voice), and they want to make their house bump proof. As soon as i tell them what they can do IE. Medeco, and how much it's gonna cost $$$, they quickly loose interest. It all comes down to money, the "bump proof" hardware is hella expensive, and most people just don't have that kind of money. Also what good is having a Medeco lock on your doors when a burglar could bust out your window, and just unlock it from the inside? And there's no way in hell i'm installing a double cylinder deadbolt (HUGE fire death risk!).

As BLK said most of this is just liberal hype. Give it a year and all will be as quiet as before.
You have a kwikset knob lock and no dead bolt on your doors and you think you can keep me out... aww thats so cute.

#9 Lock picker

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 04:44 PM

I think it's perfectly fine as long as it's for a hobby and not for burgularly

Step up to the next level of Bumping.
Are you ready?


#10 MrLocks

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:59 AM

I think it's perfectly fine as long as it's for a hobby and not for burgularly

That's true if it is for hobby then there will not be any issue but using it for illegal activities are always problematic.
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