Lock problems sign of bump key breakin?

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Lock problems sign of bump key breakin?

Postby shanusmagnus » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:12 am

When I came home last night I had some trouble getting my key into our deadbolt -- it went in eventually, but took some jiggering. This lack of smoothness was brand new, so I asked my wife if she'd had any difficulty when she'd unlocked it an hour earlier. She said no.

I'm wondering if this is a sign that someone tried to force entry, perhaps with a bump key? The only reason I even know what a bump key is is because of the last Locksport night, by which I mean I have very little idea of what I'm talking about. But I remember Dave talking about how some of the demo locks were useless because they'd been bump-keyed so many times. The other answer, and the one I'd like to hear, is that sometimes locks break; and that when my wife inserted her key, the lock just got damaged, s.t. she didn't notice it, but the next person to try to use it (me) did.

I live in a crappy neighborhood in North Minneapolis, and an attempted break-in is not out of the question, if anyone wants to update priors. But comments are much appreciated.

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Re: Lock problems sign of bump key breakin?

Postby Booka » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:00 am

While I am not an expert, bump key is a covert type break in, and most home robbery attempts would not take the time to do that IMO.

If your door is secluded and gives somebody time to do that, and there is something to gain from repeated entry maybe.
But a strong Kick will yield a quick entry in many cases, and unless you think they are planning an all day theft, I suspect your are not the target of this.

Again, there may be reasons for bump key entries, but most common is to gain access to something without being announced, and theft is it's own announcement.

Just my opinion.

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Re: Lock problems sign of bump key breakin?

Postby metis » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:16 pm

without looking at the lock, my first guess is that the lock is older, and your wife pulling her key out managed to dislodge some gunk that was keeping it operating smoothly. another possibility is that she didn't manage to fully relock/reset the lock when she took her key out (again due to age related wear) so that your key couldn't get past a pin that was still set or caught on the body.

if it's a newer lock, odds are gunk got in on one of your keys and affected a similar result. (as stated by booka, bump keys are not typically a burglars tool of choice, unless you're a locksmith, or a locksporter, it's very hard to argue that it's not a burglary tool, which significantly bumps up jail time.)

you've got a few choices:
a-do nothing, see if it happens again. (don't do this unless you've another door to get in)
b-squirt in a little lock graphite and see if it happens again (see a)
c-spray the holy monkey love out of the lock with some brake cleaner, (or contact cleaner, anything that won't leave ANY residue, wd40 is BAD unless you intend to lube it monthly) and see what comes out.
d-take the lock core out and (c) (easier on your door)
e-bring the lock in on wed and i can take a gander, see if it's been abused, if there's a lot of wear, etc. (bring along everything, including anything that falls out)
f-buy me a guinness or six and i'll swing over and see what's what
g-hire a lockie to check it out for you (i recommend central lock and safe)

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Re: Lock problems sign of bump key breakin?

Postby shanusmagnus » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:30 am

Thanks for the suggestions, folks. Of the given options, I'm leaning toward bringing it in on Wed and see what we can see.

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