Lock Bumping: A Key to Entry

Homeowners have locks to keep bad guys out.   Dave Gallager sells them for a living. When Josh, his locksmith came in demonstrating lock bumping he got concerned.   Gallager recalled, " He was just sitting there bumping you know, watch, bumping and he was bumping them and I was, 'Oh, my goodness.' "

The technique is old, but thanks to the Internet, learning it is brand new.   Streamline video shows a man dressed in black saying to the viewer, " Hi, my name is Tyler and I'm going to show you how to make and use a bump key." Gallager remembers thinking, " He was making it look like you can bump any lock."

Basically you can. You start with a standard house key that fits many locks, but not necessarily opens them. Galleger picks up two blank keys. " These two key blanks will fit in 75% of the locks, maybe 80% of the locks." Then you deepen the notches with a file or key cutter. Or you can just order a set over the Internet. Just like the crooks are doing to make an almost silent, no forced entry.

Josh demonstrates how to place the key in the lock, slightly pulling it out and then tapping on the key head to open the lock. When each try wasn't successful Galleger provided some assurance. " It's like any other form of picking lots. It's somewhat of an art and luck." This reporter must have both. In three tries I was successful at lock bumping.

Galleger explained his willingness to talk about a practice that might give some bad guys an idea.    " It's better to let people know so they have a realistic assessment of their security situation."

There are options. You can get a security system, or purchase higher quality locks. The ones with two or more locking principals are more difficult to bump. Medico locks are supposed to be bump proof.