Follow TV Tropes



Go To
Now in minigame form!

"It's about fitting into a culture with its own rules and hierarchies. It's a world where bank robbers are the rock stars, con artists are the snobs, car thieves are the blue collar guys... and safe crackers are the artists."

A safe is a heavy armored box designed to house valuable items, protected with a sophisticated lock to prevent unauthorized access to the contents. In the pre-digital world, people tended to use wall safes protected by combination locks with money, important documents, and jewelry. (They did in popular media, anyway.)

Naturally, other people would sometimes want the fabulous loot hidden away in someone's seemingly impregnable safe. These people won't be given the combination to the safe's lock, as they're usually enemies of the owner. They may not be able to steal the combination. Breaking into the safe with sledgehammers, drilling the locks, welding torches or just stealing it outright isn't advisable since the safe is probably too heavy to move and it is usually in an enemy's mansion, protected by armed guards.

Our criminal or spy isn't out of luck, though. Combination locks were driven by a mechanism that involved tumblers, devices that would spin into place as the combination lock's dial was turned. Someone with very, very good ears (or a doctor's stethoscope) could hear the tumblers spinning and know by sound when they had fallen into place. At least, that's what Hollywood claims - in truth, most quality combination locks nowadays have safety precautions built in specifically to prevent safecracking techniques like this, specifically because Hollywood has let everyone know that such techniques are theoretically possible.

It's a Dead Horse Trope now - but survives due to the Grandfather Clause in older material, and is used for comedy occasionally but never straight. In modern settings it's been largely replaced by Password Slot Machine that digitally cracks the password.

In a digital world, valuable information is rarely stored in physical formats - well, except backups of printed materials like magazines etc. - digital publishing, despite the name, also produces physical magazines. Other valuables are likely to be protected by safes using electronic locks, buried deep in highly inaccessible vaults. Even when a safe does have a combination lock... well, modern combination locks are much better thanks to new materials and manufacturing methods. While it is possible to break your average safe open with the right tools, it'll usually take hours and will involve cutting open the safe (with a risk of damaging whatever's inside).

Typically this trope is only played straight in older media (and sometimes parodies, homages, or remakes of said older media). Otherwise, the Safecracker's role is most likely to be played by a main character equipped with cool gadgets or a computer hacker who needs to work inscrutable tech magic on an electronic lock.

Not to be confused with The Cracker, a type of thief who steals using computers.


    open/close all folders 
    Anime & Manga 
  • Ranma ½: Genma, who invented two martial arts styles based on theft, is shown to be a safecracker.
  • Case Closed: Kaitou Kid is asked by Jirokichi Suzuki to crack his safe the Iron Tanuki.
  • Lupin III: Not used often, Lupin prefers Social Engineering to open the safe, but he has proven the ability to do so several times in the franchise. The board game just assumes that if a character enters the building with the loot, they can automatically open it. They're just that good.
  • Maria no Danzai: Kowase, the first of Maria's victims gets chained inside a tank with a combination lock on his hand tying him down. Maria tells him that in order to escape he has to own up and input the number representing "his greatest sin". Kowase thinks that she is talking about the anniversary of Kiritaka's death and attempt's to input the date onto the lock, only to realize with horror that he doesn't remember when it happened. After Kowase drowns, Maria uses Kowase's own birthday to unlock his chain. It turns out his "greatest sin" was "being born".

    Comic Books 
  • In the Grendel graphic novel, Devil by the Deed, the adoptive daughter of Hunter "Grendel" Rose discovers that her father has a safe hidden away. Furthermore, the book makes it clear it's of vintage design as a matter of aesthetics for Rose, so the girl is able to read up about classic safecracking methods she can use to get it open.
  • Bookhunter has the detective investigating a thief who apparently cracked a safe without leaving any physical evidence of safecracking, since the theft wasn't discovered until weeks after the fact. The eventual solution: The thief drilled through the safe door, noted its old combination, then disassembled the safe with a torch. Then they replaced it with another safe of the same model, and set it to the same combination as the old one.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Army of the Dead, this is the job and lifelong of quirky German mercenary/thief Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer). A prequel, Army of Thieves, is centered around him, his debuts in the Bank Robbery business and his previous heist team.
  • The French movie I as in Icarus has a safe-breaker explaining that it only works on safes whose code is never changed: It's the wear that makes the "right" position sound a little different.
  • The movie (also French) Rififi is more concerned with breaking in, but cracking the safe involves drilling into it from the back.
  • In Our Man Flint the buttons on Flint's vest convert into two earphones and a stethoscope-like device that our hero uses to crack the company safe at Exotica Beauty. Unfortunately it's a trap; the villains lock Flint inside and cart him (safe and all) off to their Island Base. However Flint's cigarette lighter is also an acetylene torch, so as he no longer has to remain covert, he cuts through the locking mechanism on the inside of the safe to escape.
  • James Bond:
    • You Only Live Twice. A safe is revealed while Bond is brawling with a Giant Mook in an office of Osato Chemicals. After he's subdued, Bond breaks into the safe using a small gadget that signals when each combination number is reached. Unfortunately, an alarm goes off the moment Bond opens the safe door, so he just has time to grab some papers and run.
    • On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Bond uses a trunk-sized device that directly manipulates the dial automatically to open it, and has a photocopier function so Bond can put back the documents he wants so as to eliminate evidence of his break in. The cold bastard then steals a Playboy centerfold from the safe!
    • Moonraker. Bond uses an X-ray device to break into a safe in Drax's headquarters.
  • In The Italian Job (2003), this is Stella's role, inherited from her father after he was shot on the last job they pulled.
  • Daredevil has the titular hero entering his rooftop hideout by dragging his hand across 3 combination locks, and stopping them at the correct moments, thanks to his super-hearing.
  • In the Danish series of movies Olsen-banden, there are, usually, at least one scene of a safe being cracked. In a Running Gag, it is always the same type of safe, from the fictional "Franz Jäger of Berlin". Except in one movie, where it is from "Francis Hunter", and another one from "Francois Chasseur". In one movie the safe is deemed uncrackable but the gang's leader had obtained the combination ahead of time so all they have to do is get around the other security measures.
  • In Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Mr. E.H. Harriman's newest safe defeats Butch's cracker. So they use dynamite. A LOT of dynamite. It winds up destroying the whole train car as well as the safe and sending the money flying everywhere.
  • In No Deposit, No Return Duke is a safe cracker he and his partner are held hostage by two rich kids that are faking their own kidnapping. At the climax of the film Duke has to crack a safe to save the children who have been locked inside - in front of the police detective that has been hunting him down
  • In the Polish crime comedy Vabank Henryk Kwinto is a legendary safecracker who plans to retire after getting out of prison. Having discovered, though, that Kramer, his old partner, now a Morally Bankrupt Banker, caused one of Kwinto's friends' death. Seeking revenge, he plans out a complicated heist: breaking into Kramer's allegedly heist-proof bank vault, and putting him in jail for it.
    • In the sequel Vabank 2, Kramer locks a little girl in a safe and then Kwinto has to crack the safe before she runs out of air. He opens the safe without any tools or prer in just 4 minutes and 27 seconds, impressing everyone present but Kramer, who calls the time one of the lousiests in Kwinto's career.
  • In The Score this is Robert De Niro's role. However when it is time to break the main safe of the movie, he uses more expedient measures.
  • In The Thieves, Pepsee and Julie are both expert safecrackers. Pepsee favours the drills and other gadgets, while Julie likes to feel the tumblers with her fingers.
  • In Batman Forever Batman uses this to break out of a safe that is being filled with boiling acid. He borrows a security guard's hearing aid to listen to the tumblers and crack it open.
  • Die Hard has Hans Gruber and his gang deal with a super secure vault. Here Gruber's tech expert, Theo, notes that he can break through 6 of the seven locks, but the final electromagnetic lock is beyond him. However, Gruber's Evil Plan is set up to deal with this via making the FBI cut off the power to the tower in their belief they're dealing with Western Terrorists, thus opening the final lock for them.
  • In Bank Shot, Ballentine steals the bank because they don't have time to rack the safe on site. Hermann then sets to work cracking it. He cuts it, drills it and finally blasts into with nitroglycerin before it opens.
  • In Underworld U.S.A., Tolly is an expert safecracker. When he infiltrates the mob, they initially put him to work as a numbers runner, but after he proves himself, they send him to break into the federal prosecutor's safe to find out what evidence he has against them.
  • In For a Few Dollars More, Colonel Mortimer forces open a safe stolen by Indio. He uses a drill to bore a hole to the locking mechanism, then pours acid into the hole to destroy the tumblers.
  • A Man Called Sledge: The gold is held in a safe in a cell, but only the warden knew the combination. Sledge locks the old man up in his former cell, adjoining the cell with the safe, which he heard being opened for years. By sound, the old man guides Bice through opening the safe.
  • In Grand Slam, the Caper Crew successfully enters the safe using a pneumatic trestle to bypass the photocell beams by crawling over them, accesses to the safe room with the Mary Ann's key stolen by Jean-Paul, move the safe to the corridor using shaving cream to dampen their sounds, and finally open the safe with specific nitroglycerin charges.
  • In The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Napoleon Solo (here reimagined as a Boxed Crook Gentleman Thief) has to break into a vault owned by the Vinciguerras to search for evidence that they are trying to develop nuclear weapons. He opens the door easily, but makes the mistake of assuming that there is no alarm attached to the vault door because that feature doesn't come standard on that type of vault, not realizing that the Vinciguerras had installed one separately until it went off.

  • Mulch in the first Artemis Fowl does this; he has more developed hearing that usual and he's had so much experience stealing things that he breaks into the extremely new and top-of-the-line safe Artemis keeps his copy of the Book in by listening to the dials.
  • Cryptonomicon has Lawrence cracking a safe using a microphone macgyvered from a pencil lead, two razor blades, wax, wire and a battery. Justified since this part of the story takes place during WWII, Lawrence is cryptography and lock enthusiast and he is under no real deadline or pressure to open the safe (he is doing so out of curiosity and as an intellectual exercise). He tried to crack the safe earlier while in complete darkness in a wrecked submarine being pitched around by waves and half-submerged in sewage. He probably would have been successful too, had the wrecked submarine not been hit with torpedoes.
  • The titular Papillon, aka Henri Charrière, was a safecracker and member of Paris's criminal underworld before being framed for murder and shipped to the French Guiana Penal Colony.
  • In a subtle nod to Simon Templar's position at the top of his field, "The Man From St. Louis" has him open and empty Tex Goldman's safe offscreen.
  • O. Henry's A Retrieved Reform/A Retrieved Reformation/Alias Jimmy Valentine begins with a safecracker getting out of prison by a pardon. In the final scene, years after he'd successfully gone straight, he breaks out his tools to crack open a bank vault because a child had accidentally been locked inside before the combination had been set, making it unopenable by conventional means.

    Live Action TV 

  • Done numerous times in Burn Notice, as breaking into a safe is a standard requirement both for Michael's life as a spy and also in many of the cons and crimes he gets involved with day to day. Though the more serious safes do require the complicated skills and training you'll see elsewhere on this page, Michael has also been known to cut out the bottom of a cup and use that to listen to the tumblers falling into place in a cheaper model. On one case he realized that the safe was so cheap that he didn't even need to crack the combination, he just needed to bring a hammer to knock off the combination wheel. For the more sophisticated events he is seen practicing on similar safes before actually cracking the real thing. When he can't break into a safe (usually because he doesn't have the time), he takes another route and steals the safe, since just having it (or depriving his target of it) is sufficient for his purposes.
  • Doctor Who. In "The Sunmakers", the Doctor tries the listening-to-the-tumblers method, but quickly gives up and uses his ever-handy sonic screwdriver instead.
  • This was Newkirk's specialty on Hogan's Heroes.
  • NCIS: A suspect named Scoletti hires a guy to break into NCIS' evidence locker and switch his gun. He uses this method.
  • An episode of The Red Green Show had Mike Hammer asking for assistance in using Duct Tape for Everything to repair a stethoscope, which he used to keep track of his own health while jogging away from things. Red Green asked him if he knew that it could be used to crack a safe, which Mike claimed that he didn't know that earlier. But given Mike's lack of knowledge on the location of his own heart...
  • On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, this is Nog's role in the holodeck caper in "Badda Bing, Badda Bang", presumably because of his excellent hearing.
    • It's definitely a Ferengi thing; before that, one of the first signs that Rom, Nog's otherwise bumbling father, has some Hidden Depths in terms of amazing engineering skills is when he offers to pick a combination lock for his brother Quark during a burglary, pointing out he can do it in a fraction of the time Quark would need. At first Quark is incredulous of the claim and then very angry when Rom explains he's had a lot of practice on the same kind of lock because it's the one Quark has on his storeroom.
  • Safecrackers is one of the games played on The Price Is Right. A big prize is locked behind a vault and contestants have to use 3 numbers on the vault by guessing the price of a small item. (Ironically, one contestant who the game in the 80s was a locksmith and another was a police officer.)
  • In a season two episode of Person of Interest, the person Reese has to protect is a retired safecracker who gets blackmailed by his old gang into cracking one last safe. Finch mentions that cracking a safe by the sound of the tumblers is a lost art. He doesn't mention the fact that this is because modern safes are designed so that thieves can't do that anymore (Which, given that the safecracker succeeds in opening the safe, proves that either he's really good or the safe was obsolete).
  • An episode of The Pretender dealt with Jarod overhearing a conversation between an ex-con trying to go straight and his former boss, who wants him to pull One Last Job with him. The boss mentions the last member of the team is a one-armed safecracker, due to arrive by bus that day. Jarod intercepts the safecracker at the bus station, tells him the police are onto him, takes his tools, gives him a wad of cash and a new target (The Centre), then takes his place on the job.
  • In the short-lived Richard Dean Anderson series Legend, Legend has to break into a bank's safe to get at the record books that prove that the owner of the bank was embezzling (And from there, that he had committed murder to cover up the embezzlement). He uses explosives to open it. Unfortunately, his friend Janos gave him a nitroglycerine based bomb that was much stronger than dynamite, and rather than opening the safe, the safe goes through the roof and lands in the stable next door.
  • This is the specialty of legendary Western outlaw Hannibal Heyes in Alias Smith and Jones, although one of the reasons he and his partner decide to get out of the outlaw business is that the safes are getting ever harder to crack.
  • The listen-to-the-tumblers version was tested and busted on MythBusters; Adam Savage, even with a specially boosted stethoscope, could not use that technique to unlock the safe. A technique using a borescope to see the tumblers and piano wire to move them (after prying off the combination dial) proved more successful. It took a total 45 minutes (presumably ~20 minutes used on the stethoscope method, and ~25 on the borescope method) to open a safe rated for 5 minutes, though given that techniques used to rate a safe are far from quiet, and that it was their first attempt at it, it wasn't too shabby.
  • On Elementary Sherlock is hired to figure out how a thief broke into a state-of-the-art bank vault protected by an electronic lock. The lock's combination constantly changes based on an algorithm and the single decoding device was confirmed to be on another continent at the time of the robbery. He is so frustrated by his inability to figure out the trick that he takes a fire axe and goes Axe-Crazy on the locking mechanism. In the end it turns out that the mastermind hacked the computers of the company who made the vault and replaced the algorithm for the lock with one that looked like it was generating random numbers but was simply giving out portions of the number PI. With that knowledge he could calculate what the combination was at any given time.
  • In numerous episodes of Mission: Impossible, the team has to break into a safe or vault in order to steal or plant something, starting with the first episode. The methods they use are rather varied.
  • The 1960s Batman (1966) had the Riddler used a different method: he obtained a supply of a rare wax that becomes powerfully corrosive when exposed to flame to eat through locks and simply poke them clear of the door itself to open it.
  • This was Vila's specialty in Blake's 7, with various high-tech tools instead of a stethoscope, though he usually only got to use his talents on locked doors to Terran Federation military installations.
  • Leverage: Parker's specialty, seeing as how she is The Thief of the team.
  • Jason King: a pair of safecrackers use a technique they learn from one of King's books; one brand of safe has a design flaw which means that all they have to do to open the safe is hit the centre of the dial with a hammer, causing all the tumblers to fall into place.

  • Beastie Boys are seen doing this at the end of their "No Sleep Til Brooklyn" video. Ad-Rock is turning the combination dial while listening to a stethoscope, MCA is using a jackhammer, and Mike is using a crowbar. Finally MCA just bangs his fist on the top of the safe and the door flies open.

  • This is the final goal in the aptly-named Safe Cracker.
  • Theater Of Magic has an illusion where the magician picks a safe from the inside.
  • The Sopranos has a safe that cracks in two after it is bashed repeatedly.
  • Capcom's unreleased Kingpin combines this with Train Job, as "The Big Heist" involves robbing a safe inside a moving train.
  • Heist!: Franklin Cooper, fittingly billed as "the Safecracker," cracks safes with nimble fingers and a stethoscope.
  • Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (2023): The primary goal of Miner 49er's mode is to crack open a safe by guessing the combination (in gameplay terms, figuring out a specific sequence of shots to make through trial and error).

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Burgle Bros. all the characters can crack safes, although safecracking is The Peterman's specialty and he is better at it. All the safes must be cracked before the players can win.

    Video Games 
  • Red Steel 2 has you unlocking safes using this method with you listening to the speaker in the actual wiimote. Shame then the effect is ruined by the big flashing A if you find the correct number.
  • Eternal Darkness had the lead character Alex unlock an old safe through the use of a 200-year-old Stethoscope.
  • Made fun of in Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs. After delivering a number of tools to the Master Thief, he demonstrates his skills as he opens the safe that holds the Heart of his Realm. He starts out by listening to the safe with a stethoscope while turning the dial, but then transitions to using a hammer and a crowbar, and then finally just blows the safe up. Made even sillier than it seems by the fact that since it's his safe to begin with, the Master Thief should have known the combination.
  • Grand Theft Auto V has a variant of this involving a drill in the finale of the first heist you can play in GTA Online; in this case, you're not actually cracking the combination, you're literally drilling through the lock, and have to listen carefully to make sure the drill is going through the pins without jamming or overheating. In a later mission, you get to play this trope straight, by cracking the safe that belongs to the Lost M.C.'s LS Chapter.
  • Safe Cracker places the protagonist in the headquarters of a prestigious safe-manufacturing firm known as Crabb & Sons, as part of a job interview - crack all the safes and open the final vault in the span of 12 hours, and you're hired. The safes vary from cleverly hidden that need special keys, to novelty boxes that can be opened by completing a puzzle, and none of them rely on the traditional methods of safecracking. (Except for the tried and true "figure out where they wrote down the combination" gambit.)
    • A spiritual successor under the same name puts you in the shoes of an expert safecracker, hired to find the will of Duncan W. Adams , oil conglomerate CEO who had a serious passion for designing safes just as strange as Crabb & Sons'. The person who hired you is a greedy descendant, whom you find later isn't to be trusted.
  • Safe Opening Simulator is a simulation game for Ms-dos, trying for a realistic method of cracking the safe. It uses the traditional methods, such as dialing, drilling and if all else fails, explosives.
  • The Sly Cooper series regularly involves safecracking - for the first two games, you simply receive the combination codes once you pick up all the level's collectible "clue bottles", but in the third game you have to crack them yourself, rotating the dial (via the analogue stick) until it clicks.
  • Covert Action has the safecracking kit as one of things Player Character can take on break-ins. Not exactly necessary, but safes, of course, tend to lend more valuable clues than less secured documents and evidence allowing to blackmail enemy agents into turning may be found only in floor safes.
  • A Mini-Game in both Quest for Glory IV and Quest for Glory V. In IV it's a form of Three in a row with suits of cards (Yellow, Red, Green and Blue) and in V it's a Simon Says esque game with a Greek Dancer and an Earworm song.
  • Averted in PAYDAY: The Heist. Rather than trying to crack the codes in the fortified vaults and rooms, the crew brute force the way around it. For the bank they rob, the crew use thermite in the room above the vault to bypass the door and have direct access to the money. In another mission where the crew attempt to rob some junkies, rather than trying to crack the code to the panic room (where the money is), they decide to detach the panic room from the floor, blow a hole to the roof, and have a helicopter airlift the room away, money and all.
    • This is possible in the sequel via a perk in the ghost tree. It's time-consuming, but quicker and quieter than drilling, assuming that the player isn't interrupted.
  • In Zork Zero, you crack a safe with a magic glove that allows you to feel the tumblers turning.
  • Alpha Protocol has you picking safes (and anything else with a lock on it for that matter) with a mini-game where you have to line up the tumblers; with harder locks having more tumblers. Oddly these locks could be disabled with EMP grenades and would trigger an alarm if you didn't unlock the door in time.
  • The Steam horror game Kidnapped features a particularly easy to crack safe with; with a stethoscope found in the same room as the safe all you need to do it hover it over the door and turn to handle to make it open.
  • Zero Time Dilemma has safecracking as part of a puzzle in the infirmary. Since this was supposed to be solvable puzzle (in-universe, not just as game mechanic), and safe was meant to be unlocked this way, trope is Justified.
  • Sylvio, a game about recording ghostly messages using a microphone, uses a unique approach to getting into locked safes and lockers. By using the microphone to pick up imperceptible sounds, you can hear the tumbler click each time you've reached the correct number in the combination. Repeat as necessary until the door opens.
  • The Last of Us Part II has safes scattered throughout the game. Although a clue to the combination can usually be found by searching the vicinity, the option to brute-force your way through is available by listening for the slightly louder clicks when turning the dial.
  • In Sleeping Dogs (2012), you unlock safes and lockboxes with the help of a program on your phone that listens for the "click" of the tumblers aligning. Hong Kong police have some pretty nifty tools, apparently.
  • Tormented Souls: One puzzle is to crack a safe. To solve it, you have to spot the connection between the numbers in a diary page found in the safe room, and the pictures on the TV in the next room (e.g. tricycle has 3 wheels, spider has 8 legs).


    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Real Life: Averted, in that modern, government-authorized combination locks are electronic; the combination is dialed by viewing a liquid crystal display that is powered by capacitors built into the lock.
  • Anyone with physical access to a safe will be able to open it with 100% success given enough time and the proper tools. As such the security of physical devices are rated in "Minutes" that an attacker with unfettered access to the device will need to defeat the security measures. Surprisingly the best mechanical locks today are only rated for 15 minutes and the best safes are only rated to between 30 and 60 minutes. This means that within that time period someone or something must check on the device to ensure it is not being broken into.
    • All devices have weaknesses, the most common being an oxy-acetylene torch which can cut through feet of steel over a typical Holiday Weekend. Being less obvious takes more time, but anyone with intimate knowledge of the device can usually find a way in. The safe-maker can only defend against the attacks he can think of, the safe-cracker only has to find the one thing the safe-maker missed.
    • Someone recently found that moving a sufficiently powerful rare earth magnet around the door of a fire-proof safe can dislodge the bolts keeping it locked.
  • More often than one would like to believe, the combinations on safes are left at their factory default settings.
    • And if not sometimes one can just phone up and ask.
  • Master thief Gerald Blanchard stole millions of dollars in both the cyber and physical realms defeating the best security systems the 21st century had to offer. His favourite trick was to simply walk around banks that were under construction and build in his own back doors and combination grabbing surveillance equipment before the banks opened for business. After all, who would bother to break into a bank before it had any money.
  • Richard Feynman got into the habit of breaking into safes while working on the Manhattan Project. He discovered that, due to a design flaw, when one of the combination-locked filing cabinets that were used to hold the project's documents was open, he could read off all but one number of the combination. Then he broke into the main project archives, because the guy who could have let him in was out of the office.
    • Feynman also claims, in his memoir, that most of the safes still had the default combination. When he told his superiors about this obvious security risk, their response was to institute policy to 1. Change All The Combinations and 2. Keep Feynman Away From The Safes.
  • In 2003 a vault in the Secure Antwerp Diamond Area was robbed by a group of sophisticated Italian thieves known as the School of Turin, who made off with anywhere from 108 and 420 million dollars. They defeated a number of high tech security systems in order to pull it off, including using hairspray against the motion detectors (due to the fact that it would be transparent enough for the system to arm but opaque enough to make the sensor useless). The vault itself though was interesting in that no one knows exactly how they got the combination. It was suggested in a Wired magazine article that hidden cameras were used to record the combination being entered. The problem with that idea is that the combination was entered by viewing the dial through a magnification lens specifically to avoid the problem of shoulder surfing. One interesting possibility was that the dial was never manually zeroed by spinning the dial after the door was locked such that all that was necessary was turning the key (this is an issue with mechanical lock vaults as they are too complicated to zero automatically). Another option was that one of the individuals had written down the combination and it was pickpocketed from them (at least one of the concierges with the combination admitted to having written down the combination). In addition to the combination, the key that opened the vault door was on a foot-long pole (to prevent lockpicking attempts) that was stored in a closet next to the vault, with the key left screwed on out of laziness (which fits the second theory on the combination). This was all described in the book Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History.
  • For those who tend to use hotel safes when travelling, some models have a rather simple backdoor. Namely that the default combination still works even after you've set your own combination. Usually best to try this backdoor yourself before you go relying on the safe to keep your stuff secure.
  • There is only one surefire way to break into a safe: pull it out of the wall and chisel the back off by slicing through the rivets with a cold chisel. This pre-supposes that (a) you have a whole weekend to do it, (b) nobody hears the god-awful noise you will make, and (c) you have a good excuse when the fuzz inevitably show up and catch you "In flagrante delicto", so to speak.

Alternative Title(s): Loud Safe


The Vault Opens

The vault is finally opened.

How well does it match the trope?

4.29 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / Safecracking

Media sources: