Thursday, March 29, 2007
Don't Be a Victim: Bump Keys
A warning from police tonight -- You may need new locks for your home. Burglars have a new tool that allows them to break in as if they have a key. 7's Tom Haynes has the story.
But thieves have found a way around most door locks.
Officer Frank Jackson: "You simply slide it in and all you need to do is apply very little pressure to the top part of the key and now it's open. And if you look at the inside of the lock, the bump key is working, and it just now released the lock."
Officer Frank Jackson of the Coral Gables Police Department just demonstrated what's called a "bump key."
They come in all shapes and sizes and are designed to get past locks of all shapes and sizes.
Officer Frank Jackson: "With a bump key, their able to bump the lock, make their way inside, once inside, they can turn around lock the door."
This means some one can get into your home and take your valuables without you even knowing how they got in.
Normally reserved for law enforcement, thieves are getting bump keys online.
Officer Frank Jackson: "The bump key is very, very important for the criminal now because it allows them the ability to go in and really trick us, and it's very frustrating."
But don't be a victim.
Officer Jackson says to protect yourself you may need to spend a little more money on your doors and locks.
Officer Frank Jackson: "Get the higher end lock. It's not guaranteed that it's not going to be impenetrable and the criminal is not going to get into your home, but it's kind of like that old theory where you get what you pay for."
Second, have alternate locks on your doors.
Officer Frank Jackson: "Instead of just having the single dead bolt here, you can also have one on your door handle. From the outside, it's locked as well."
And look for doors that have an extra lock that releases a pin into the frame.
Officer Frank Jackson: "You release that pin, which is going to come down and recess into there."
But, even more important, have a good alarm system.
Officer Frank Jackson: "We recommend that you put sensors on all your windows, all your points of entry and exits. Put stickers on your windows, put a little sign out in front of your home that says, 'Protected by' whatever the name of the company is."
With signs out front and extra locks on the doors, the criminal will most hopefully move on to another house that's easier to break into.