Top Ten Ways to Crack a Safe

If you're ever gonna get into the bank robbing business (which is a really stupid idea, trust me, and this list is purely for fun and you may learn a thing or two from it, but it isn't serious), chances are that sooner or later you're gonna have to crack a safe. Now, thieves aren't idiots, despite what pop culture has shaped them to be. They have many intelligent tactics that they resort to when forced to crack a safe. Safes are resilient, durable things that are really hard to get into, so here's the top ten ways to crack a safe. Enjoy!
The Top Ten
1 Manipulation

A talented and skilled safecracker can usually work out the correct combination by listening with a stethoscope, and I'll tell you how. Each number in a combination relates to a different wheel, which is right behind the dial, that thing where you do the combination. If the correct wheels are turned and moved into place, the safe opens. A cracker can listen for the faint clicks as the wheels are moved into place and he can keep trying with the first digit until he hears the sounds that signal it's going in the right place. Then he repeats with the correct first digit before an unknown second digit, continuing until all the digits are correct. When the correct combination is dialed, wheel notches line up and the safe can easily be swung open. Who'd have thought?

2 Blow It Up

This one is definitely messy, and not something most thieves resort to, but if all else fails what you may have to do is just blow it up! The third just pours this liquid thing called nitroglycerine into the door frame, then he inserts a fuse, lights it, and stands back! Quick, yes, but it will cause an extremely loud noise, and it will usually immediately alert guards and all of that to your situation, so you have to really quickly get what's inside and go, go, go! In many cases, the loot will be harmed by the explosion, but if you're going for a resilient precious metal or something like that it should be okay. Only resort to this if you absolutely have to, though.

Risky, but it might just be enough to open it.

Wouldn't it destroy the safe?

The most dangerous way

3 Rear Drilling

One of the more common ways of cracking a safe, though it has to be very precise and the thief has to be talented, is to drill in through the back. I'd guess it would become very noisy, but maybe some thieves have more silent drills and that's why it's pretty popular. They drill two holes in the back, one for the borescope, which is this kind of really special telescope that allows you to see really small things, like the mechanisms of a safe dial. The second hole would be for a long screwdriver that could unscrew the lock from the inside (using the borescope to do it correctly). What if you drilled it one point of an angle off and couldn't see where you wanted too, though. That would be disastrous yet hilarious.

4 Learn the Combination

This one is by far the simplest one on the list. Obviously, a way to crack a safe that's much easier than all these complicated tactics using things like plasma cutters and borescopes and thermic Lances and all of that is by just learning the combination, but it's not as easy as it sounds. It might take a lot of persuading or convincing and even confusing someone enough for them to let it slip. On the other hand, what's hilarious is that a very surprising number of people forget to change the standard combinations set by the safemakers, or even leave the number lying somewhere around the safe, so it can be astonishingly easy.

5 Diagonal Drilling

Another drilling option that isn't used very often or as much as rear drilling, but is still quite a good way to do it, is diagonal drilling. You drill down diagonally from the upper front of the safe until there's a hole reaching the wheels mechanism. Then, you insert a fiber-optic viewer borescope for watching the wheels while trying out the combinations. It's a lot like the tactic Manipulation, but instead you can actually see the wheels instead of listening to them. This tactic is one of my favourites, but it's not very common so I can't put it that high.

6 Torching

Another hard but effective way to crack a safe would be to burn the dial or the door frame, which not as many thieves use but skilled ones perform efficiently. The safecrackers will definitely get very hot under the collar with the amount of energy needed to burn something that durable, but they can still manage to burn the lock. What people would usually use a simple oxyacetylene burner, and if they know what they're doing with some real state-of-the-art gear, better options would be things like a plasma cutter or thermic lance. Don't try this at home though because boy is it dangerous.

I imagine there would be a considerable risk of damaging the contents.

7 Brute Force

This method of cracking a safe is actually quite common, but many attempts are unsuccessful and leave traces of someone trying to open it. Basically, this tactic involves damaging the safe whether it's smashing it with a club or chucking it off roofs until the safe doesn't work anymore and it the stuff inside can be retrieved. I'd think that it would cause the stuff inside to be damaged, but I guess the thieves didn't. Usually thieves use either explosives, acetyline torches, drills, thermal lances, and all sorts of cool gadgets.

8 UV Lights and Ink

One of the more simple ways to do this, and just so you know this tactic only works on an electronic safe, which is one with a digital keypad, would be by using ultraviolet lights and ultraviolet ink. First, the thief sprays the electronic keypad all over with the UV Ink, and then they will shine a UV flashlight on it to reveal finger marks. Then you press where the fingers marks are, and presto! There's probably also that one where you use tape and all of that, but that's Nick Fury's domain, not mine.

That sounds really cool actually.

9 Front Drilling

Another drilling way is front drilling. The safecracker simply drills out the lock. After drilling through to the lock wheels, the person insterts a rod thing that pushes the fence (bolt) that locks them out of the way before easily opening the safe.

10 Software Programs

Cooly enough, some software Programs will do the work for you! Clever computer software Programs linked to a safe will run through all the possible combinations until they find the right one. Lazier safe crackers and robbers can just put their feet up and relax while they wait for their computers to unlock the loot! Sounds like the way of the sloth...

Well that will only work if the safe has software. It could be a physical safe that isn't technological.

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