Retirement is a week filled with Saturdays and Sundays interrupted only occasionally by a holiday.

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Combination Lock Users Beware

Here's a scary followup to the theft of Rick's money and watch on Friday. It should be particularly unnerving to all the parents out there who send their kids off to school each year with combination locks for their school and gym lockers.

Yesterday, Rick went to the YMCA (the scene of the crime) to do his normal workout and the very nice young man at the reception desk (whom we'd spoken to on Friday after the theft) immediately came over to speak with him. Apparently, this young man went home on Friday absolutely believing Rick's contention that his locker had been securely locked during the theft. This young man decided to help Rick figure out how someone could breach the combination lock that had been used. Leave it to the expertise and inquisitive nature of young people. Sure enough, this young man found hundreds of websites detailing various ways to crack the combination of these much-used locks. Yikes!

What makes this all seem so surreal is that, after the theft, Rick and I went to W*lm*rt to buy a brand new lock to replace the breached one. When we got home and opened the packaging, lo and behold, we discovered that the new combination was exactly the same as the one he'd been using for three years. Now...what is the likelihood that, with all the locks out there in the world to purchase, we would find one that had the same combination as a 3-year-old lock??? So now we are wondering whether this lock manufacturer uses only just a few combinations and that the thief simply tried combinations until he found the right one.

In some ways, Rick feels a bit better knowing that it is absolutely possible he did not fail to lock the locker securely before going off to work out and that the thief had used a devious method to gain entry. Still...how scary is it to be reminded that, while the Internet provides an incredible amount of worthwhile information, it can also be used by criminals to commit evil acts against innocent victims?

3 comments:

Renee said...

There's a program on Discovery Channel called "How It's Made" where I saw them making combo locks...and yeah they only have a few combinations that they use. So what could have happened is that your thief used his phone with internet access to look up the combos right there in the locker room.
Sad world!
I hope that Rick finds a better lock.

Linda said...

The things that one can learn to do on the Internet is way beyond scary. Way ... beyond ...

Patti said...

Maybe he can find a better lock. There must be some to be found.