Burglars using bump keys for home break-ins - AmericaNowNews.com

Burglars using bump keys

Have you checked your locks tonight? It may not even matter! They may be vulnerable to what's called a "bump key." Crooks use the altered keys to break into homes without a trace. 

Locksmiths created "bump keys" years ago for a quicker way to make repairs to broken locks, but now that crooks are using them, more people are looking for ways to protect their homes.

It only takes seconds before your house becomes a "free-for-all" for burglars, who can walk right through your front door and take what they want without you realizing until it's too late. It doesn't even damage your lock.      

"Bump key" how-to videos are all over YouTube. One video from five years ago has had more than two million views.  

DJ Jacobs with Richmond Security in Virginia says "bump" or alerted keys have been used to break into homes, businesses and sheds for years, but college dorm rooms are now targets too. 

"They're stealing each other's computers, laptops, iPods, watches, occasional money or credit card," said Jacobs.       

We're not going to show you how a bump key is made. But Jacobs walks us through just how easy it is to unlock a deadbolt with one. 

"This key here does not work the deadbolt. With a couple of taps it now does," he showed us.      

The altered key manipulates the lock tumblers. Jacobs says locksmiths created bump keys to repair damaged deadbolts and doorknobs.  

"Some locks with age become harder to pick," Jacobs said. "Sometimes they become forged, damaged, rusty, springs get damaged, so the bump key becomes more easier for us to get the lock open."      

But the frightening phenomenon has people scrambling to upgrade to something that can withstand a bump key. 

Mary Ruth did after a rash of break-ins at a Richmond apartment complex where she used to live. 

"Two. I heard about two and they were in about a week time frame and that was it," she said. 

Her home wasn't hit, but it didn't matter. 

"It's very scary because you were invaded; your privacy is gone," Ruth explained. 

Jacobs says more people are stopping in asking for high security locks. He sells one with a key that can't be duplicated. 

"You can only get the key through us with a photo ID. No exception," Jacobs said. 

Ruth says she's working to put the special locks on all her doors to give her peace of mind.

"It's very costly, but well worth the price," she said. 

The price for high security locks can range anywhere between $145 to $235. 

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Six deadly foods for dogs

    Six deadly foods for dogs

    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. One woman found that out the hard way when her dog ate a bunch of grapes! Turns out, that's one of the most dangerous foods
    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. But these common snacks could be fatal for Fido.
  • Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Friday, April 18 2014 3:06 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:06:17 GMT
    Fugitive Fridays tracks down Central Virginia's most wanted. Take a look at the photos and see if you can help police track down these suspects.
    Fugitive Friday helps track down Central Virginia's Most Wanted.
  • Wiping the "sleep" from your eyes

    Why not to wipe the "sleep" from your eyes

    The Sandman may lull you to sleep, but he also leaves a few sprinkles behind in the corners of your eyes. People call it sleep, eye goop, crusties or sand, but no matter what you call it, the gunk keeps
    The Sandman may lull you to sleep, but he also leaves a few sprinkles behind in the corners of your eyes. People call it sleep, eye goop, crusties or sand, and no matter what you call it, it always appears after you've awoken.
Powered by WorldNow