Lock Bumping: Criminals know about it - you should too

Lock Bumping: Criminals know about it - you should too
By: CJ Cassidy
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Just how safe are you when you lock your door? We'll tell you what the crooks know - then you decide. It's called lock bumping - a phenomenon that's spreading fast, especially online. Just about anyone can break into a lock, using a specially cut key.
So why are we putting this out there? Because the crooks already know how to break into your home and we want you to know how to protect yourself.
If you never thought someone would break into your home with a key, you're not alone. In fact, Joann Leadbetter of Cape Girardeau had never seen anything like it. "When I was growing up we didn't have to lock our doors at all," she says.
Now Joann realizes even locking her door might not be enough, and worries about the safety of her granddaughter who lives with her.
Police say they're familiar with lock bumping, but have no proof thieves have used them in burglaries in our area.
Locksmith Dustin Wilson's made thousands of keys for customers, but he draws the line at making a lock bumping key.  "I definitely wouldn't make something like that. You can tell when people come in on stuff like that you kind of know they're up to no good,' he says.
Wilson says any reputable locksmith would alert police, but that doesn't stop crooks from surfing the net in search of the keys.  "Probably a lot of people like me wouldn't realize how easy it is to break in a lock," Joann Leadbetter says.
So how, then can you protect yourself?
Wilson suggests investing in a high security lock. It may cost more, but bring you some much needed peace of mind. "You can get a regular lock for $15 to $20, restricted ones we sell a range from $50 upwards of over $100 per lock," Wilson says.
Police also suggest some other alternatives. Having a pet, or motion activated security lighting can help keep away burglars.  You can also invest in an alarm system or talk to a locksmith about installing complicated locks. It might be the best move you ever make.
We didn't show how to make lock bumping keys. Heartland News does not want to help criminals.
However, there is such a buzz on this on the internet we felt it's important to make you aware so you can keep your home and family safe. Some locks are bump proof. Medeco is one example.  These locks are going to cost quite a bit more, but locksmiths say they are worth the extra security.