OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:16 pm
Every year about this time, I begin entertaining the thought of bringing my passion out into the
real world. And every year I have far too many reasons, good reasons, not to take such a leap.
For some years now I have been faithfully, obsessively!, spinning. And yet I know only a little.
Every evening I pour over files, viewing hundreds upon hundreds of various locks and safes;
knowing that many of 'em I may never get a chance to experience. Certainly not from home.
Ebay has been a good friend to me. Over the years, slowly & patiently gobbling up whatever
my pocketbook would allow. But what I pull from my mailbox nowadays doesn't always align
so closely with my current learning curve. Just doesn't quench my thirst as often as it use to.
The only logical next 'step'... next 'phase' of my self-taught schooling is to go beyond the lockroom.
So after several years of planning - I feel it's time. I've gone public and I'm crackin' safes... for free.
To those who may come across this and think it's a wonderfully exciting idea. It is! And I wouldn't dream of discouraging you. I would simply suggest, STRONGLY suggest that you thoroughly do your homework first. That's all. Gather as much info as possible from credible sources - then make an informed decision. At that point you might conclude the risks are minimal and it's worth pursuing. Or, you may realize it's a very bad idea. If it feels like you shouldn't do it... then you probably shouldn't do it. As disappointing as it is, I know.
For what it's worth, here's some of what led up to this: I've spent a small portion of each year for the last several years preparing. A lot of web browsing, phone calls, footwork, and (as it turns out) a chunk of money in order to really do it right. I touched base with both my local and State Police. I visited these agencies, in person, and had a lengthy discussion with each. I also worked with two different law firms and a printing company. With all this said and done - how I've come to operate - I'm told is still not ironclad. There are no absolute guarantees.
Laws vary drastically, not only from state to state, but from county to county. Go through your State AND County laws with a fine-tooth comb. You may need professional help deciphering them. By the way, doing it for free does not alleviate me from being liable in the least. It's not like the 'Good Samaritan Act'. Ha! So here in Michigan, unlawfully breaching a safe is considered a Class I felony that carries with it a possible max life sentence. On the other end of the spectrum, Michigan does not regulate the locksmithing trade. Even if I wanted to be 'certified' as a safe technician and have the state send me a license, there's no such thing.
There's just so many scenarios that could happen either on site or after the fact. Too many to list or even dream up. What if the very safe you worked on is burglarized just a couple weeks later? Or maybe you open a safe for Homer only to find out it belongs to his Grandmother who's in Florida for the winter? How about jumping straight into the middle of a divorce (or any nasty breakup for that matter)? No thanks!! You wouldn't be notified of a legal issue till weeks later. Think about it. The police knocking at your door - then weeks/months of litigation - wouldn't that suck? Not trying to scare anyone. Just looking to get your thoughts to wander off a bit further. Because I care. And 'good intentions' don't go very far in court nowadays.
I've talked mainly about legality and liability, since this was my main concern. But what about people? The crime rate in my area is excruciatingly low. What type of clientele will be calling you? Suppose the safe is stolen and you're unknowingly finishing the job? Or worse yet, maybe you're lured to one home only to be forcefully brought to another location to assist in a crime. This may seem a bit far fetched, I know. But greed and/or desperation can bring some of the most unbelievable plots to life. Crime is closely monitored and recorded. You can find this information if you look. Assess both the nature and frequency of the crime in your area.
And lastly; the other reason I was so hesitant for so long was lack of experience. I kept telling myself I was not good enough yet. Looking back on it now, I was probably being pretty honest with myself! I'm sorry, but if you're able to count the safes you've opened on your fingers and toes, you probably have exactly what I had at that time; a lotta ego and a little bit of knowledge. I've been at this now for a good solid 5 years. I just feel like one should reach at least some level of moderate proficiency with manipulation before going out. Otherwise your wasting peoples' time. Again, it's just my opinion - but if you hit the road prematurely you're basically just entertaining yourself at other peoples' expense. Pay your dues first.
I present a variety of locks (as I acquire them) and a detailed manipulation of each. That thread
is FAR from finished and I'll continue posting to it. Currently mounting more locks for the winter.
Lock room shelving has reached the ceiling & real estate value has reached an all-time high. lol
Obvious difference here in Part II of the Chronicles is that I'm working on safes that are not mine.
For this reason, I will exercise extreme caution as to what I share and how I go about sharing it.
Every person who calls has entrusted me with a very sensitive & secretive portion of their life.
This, I feel is a huge privilege that I will do my absolute best to honor, always.
Some of my outings will have a bit of a story. Others may be rather vague, consisting of some
lock-porn followed by some specs of the safe and/or lock. As always, I hope to learn from you!
I also hope you can learn some things from me. And I know some of you share my passion for
safes - so it really excites me to know you'll enjoy browsing this thread. Let's enter into a world
of homes, garages, sheds, basements, and businesses. A world.... beyond.... the lockroom !!!!