Letter: Home Locks Review From Someone That Breaks Into Homes (Legally) For A Living


As a long time reader of the blog, I was interested in the note about secure home products. The trick with the rod with the hook to undo an automatic garage door opener I thought was great; I actually tried it yesterday and after a minute I gave up on it and just drilled the lock. When I walked in the garage I looked up and I almost had it hooked another minute I think I would have had it. Here’s the back story; I break into homes for a living. My job is to secure foreclosed homes. The garage trick I like because most people will lock the front and back door, but the door from the garage usually is unlocked, or only has a knob lock that is defeated with a pipe wrench. I try not to damage the doors or windows when making access into a home; I do not kick, I drill. If you have what most people have on their homes (kwickset) I am in that home in less than 30 seconds. It takes me 15 to drill the deadbolt and 15 to get my pipe wrench to twist your knob lock and be inside the home. If I come across a home that has good locks, like Schlage, I work on windows. Those locks are way too aggravating to drill and have broken many a drill bit trying to. When I come across them, I work the garage door first, and if i can not make easy access there I move to windows. New windows, with a small pry bar and a screwdriver, I can often access the home without damaging the window or the lock.

I do all of my work in the day time. When I got started, I was driving a cheap looking truck and I used to have to speak with a deputy once a week. As my business has expanded I have built up my equipment and bought nicer things. I have not had the law called on me in a year with one exception– an alarm company called for the break in due to the window that was unlocked in one bedroom. I spoke to him for a minute and went on with my work. Didn’t even show my paperwork.

For securing a home, buy nice locks and windows, screw them shut. Under windows, do what people have done for eons– plant cactus, et cetera. (I have had to go by Dollar General to buy tweezers to get those out of me on a job.) Buy a security system, if you don’t just put fake signs on your windows and yard. (Criminals know it takes 30 minuses on a burglar alarm.)

Doors with 4-inch screws are tough; regular doors with a kick guard that goes from a good knob lock to the floor are a beast to even try and kick or break.

If you’re not the easiest to rob, you won’t be the first. Good luck to all of you. – B.G.