Locksmithing/safety deposit boxes

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Question
I have a friend with a set of antique safety deposit boxes that have not been opened in at least 50 years.  She has keys to only four of the boxes.  Each box has a single lock that requires two keys to open it. Locksmiths here in southern Colorado have been unable to open them, and she doesn't want to drill the old locks out.  Any idea who might be able to pick these locks?

Answer
Dusty,

Two items - first, many of the locks were designed to be pick resistant.   Banks didn't want locks which could be opened without destroying them and/or without the customer present.

Second item - would be the locksmiths - sorry but the majority of locksmiths in business today are little more than trained monkeys - pull part off, put part on!    And I say that with the deepest respect for trained monkeys!    

Recently I had a friend of mine who was locked out of his expensive motorhome - after the third locksmith who told him that "picking locks" was simply a movie trick, and that the lock HAD to be drilled out - he called me.  Other than the hour drive to get to him, it took less than 30 seconds to pick the lock open - and that's only because I went the wrong way the first time.   LOL.    In the old days you had to apprentice for around 4 years before you actually became a locksmith.   Now a days, if they get a business license and a locksmith permit, they think that they are locksmiths - regardless of their knowledge.

While this story doesn't help you, it does illustrate the difficulty in finding real, trained, legitimate locksmiths vs key cutters and lock swappers.

As you didn't provide me with any useful information concerning the locks, I can't answer the question on whether or not the locks may be pick resistant or not.  

There are various ways to open safe deposit boxes WITHOUT destroying the locks, again however, I would need to see the locks and/or boxes to determine the best ways.   Drilling the door, when done correctly will NOT damage the lock, and the door can be repaired.    

Unfortunately there are no longer any really good safe men in Colorado, so options are limited.   I would recommend that you contact the following company to discuss options with them.    Realize that when you put restrictions on the work that they do, the price generally goes up.    You should have a realistic expectation that the locks will be opened professionally, repaired and working afterwards - REGARDLESS of the method that is used to open them.
As you have at least four locks available for them to look at, they SHOULD be able to figure out a method to open them without destroying them.


J & R Safe and Security, Inc.
719-282-0360
7857 Scarborough Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80920-7117

I guess worst case, she could send the nest to me to have us work on them.  

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 42 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.

Experience

44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes".

Organizations
SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 - Listed in AllExperts Top 50 Experts. All Expert Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service Area is Northern California (Fresno to Oregon and Western Nevada)

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