Cheap ways to keep your lock from being "bumped" - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Cheap ways to keep your lock from being "bumped"

If you think your home is safe just because the door is locked, think again.

Bad guys can get in with little effort by trying something called "lock bumping." We first exposed the problem and a offered a solution back in November.

Tonight, we're going to tell you about new ways to solve the problem without breaking the bank.

"Lock bumping" is an old locksmith's trick getting a lot of buzz on the internet.

By using a special series of cuts on a regular key, plus a tap, or series or taps, thieves can bump almost any lock.

It's that easy.

One Mississippi woman found out the hard way. "I heard someone at the back door that sounded like someone throwing rocks at the door," she said, asking to have her identity protected.

She was resting on her couch when a crook bumped her lock and broke in. "It's a scary thought to think anyone can get into your apartment that easily or your home or your business."

Better locks are a possible solution. Brands like Medeco and Schlage Primus cannot be bumped, but they are expensive.

Around $150 a piece.

But for less than $25, the creators of the "lockjaw" say you can prevent lock-bumping yourself. "Take a standard deadbolt lock--put it in the locked position--and LockJaw has a pin--simply loosen the pin, let the structure fall down--this is called the bolt--tighten the pin, and now LockJaw is secure," Bret Fulford, the creator.

The device can be installed with screws, Velcro, even double-stick tape. "I will literally break this key before the bolt retracts back into the door."

For less than $20, makers of the PowerWedge say their product prevents doors from opening, even if locks are bumped.

A steel wedge screws into the floor, keeping the door shut and crooks out.

"I think other people should know so they can protect themselves," said the woman who was victimized in Rankin County, MS.

For now, she's using a jamb on her door. She also made several other security upgrades.

Alarms and pets are good deterrents. Lighting around your house helps too.

"When you're trying to put a value on your property, that's easy enough to do. But how do you put a value on your personal safety?" said Glen Peifer, Memphis-area locksmith.

Security experts say it's something we all must ask ourselves, until we can close the door on lock-bumping for good.

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