lockers June 11, 2010 2:41 PM

The kid should just youtube “cookiejar lock paperclip”. I know I was shocked when I taught my daughter to unlock my fire safe and it only took her 30 seconds on her first attempt.

spaceman spiff June 11, 2010 4:18 PM

Locks – NOT!

Many years ago I worked for awhile as a tow truck driver. Naturally we had a “slim jim” unlocking tool in order to tow cars away under police “supervision”. Anyway, I learned how to also use a wire coat hanger to do the same thing. No car could stay unlocked more than 10 seconds from the time I got to the car, to the time I was behind the driver’s seat. Many years later, when I had segued into an engineer, I used to be the go-to guy to help my colleagues unlock their cars when they inadvertently left their keys locked inside. This was 15-20 years after my tow truck days, and it still only took me 15-20 seconds to get them inside their vehicles…

NoReferrerGuy June 11, 2010 4:48 PM

That link doesn’t work if you’re using Firefox’s NoReferrer plugin. No referrer? No comic.


Bryan Feir June 11, 2010 4:59 PM

NoScript blocks it as well… first for blocking, then again after I’d temporarily allowed because is trying something that looks like cross-site scripting to do its referrer check.

The fun part is that I could see the image while it was loading before the page blocked it on me, and that when I navigated to another page and then back, the image was there. So I could see it just fine.

Ward S. Denker June 11, 2010 9:30 PM

spaceman spiff,

Do be careful when using the old coat hanger trick on more modern cars. 15-20 years ago there wasn’t so much inside the door. Nowadays you can accidentally set off side impact airbags or hook the electrical cables and cost someone some serious cash in replacing them. Also, some manufacturers have intentionally redesigned the linkages to make them very difficult to hook with a slim jim as a theft deterrent.

I used to work in hospital security and vehicle unlocks was one of the services we’d do for people. I found that I was actually much better at using the stiff wires that are used for hanging suspended ceilings (they’re tougher than coat hangers and longer). I’d fish them through the weather stripping and push the switch on the door. I do recall using the slim jim for a 1980s T-Bird and getting the door open in seconds to the shock of the owner. He had no idea that his car was that easy to break into.

QnJ1Y2U June 12, 2010 1:23 PM

The myth they were testing was more about what would happen with the slim jim, and whether it would go through the skull of the person wielding it. I’d bet with enough effort, you could trigger an in-door airbag with a coathanger. But as they pointed out, side airbags are seldom in the door.

Ward’s basic point is correct – you can cause some expensive damage.

Clive Robinson. June 12, 2010 10:01 PM

Didn’t Bruce one blog about a combination lock for a tub of “ben-n-jerries”?

I can think of many “student digs” (shared accommodation) where locks on all food containers would be handy…

And how many of you work at a place with a communal fridge and suffer from a “lunch bag thief” problem?

I actually know of someone who put one of those “birthday card” sound chips in their lunch box to catch one such perp…

So a lockable lunch box with hidden alarm might have a market (and if you read this and make one send me payment of two bottles of decent bear via Bruce I get one and he gets one 😉

Chris June 18, 2010 9:11 AM

Wow. Locks only deter the honest and lazy thieves. Think about how easy it would be to get a legitimate replacement key to any given lock. I’ll bet the contents of a cookie jar that a lot of low end locks don’t even have unique keys.

This is pretty easy for cars. You can get the VIN from the dashboard, the owner’s last name from the registration sticker (in many states) and the name of the car dealership from the plate bracket.

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