Archive for November, 2007

The Dutch Open 2007: WOW!

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

It is amazing what can happen in the course of just one weekend. The list of interesting things happened in Sneek is just too long, so I am just going to highlight a few here…

“Lock Pathologist” Peter Field his presentation was very well received.

Peter Field his presentation at the Dutch Open 2007 in Sneek (the Netherlands)

And in a weekend that is about breaking records, this presentation broke quite a few! Most obvious record: the longest presentation ever at a Dutch Open (almost 5 hours). But also it received the longest and loudest applause ever (at least 5 minutes straight!). A great contrast to another record: that of the one presentation were the audience was completely silent. All in all one of the most interesting presentations at the Dutch Open ever. Thanks again Peter!

Another great class was that of Paul Crouwel on combination lock manipulation.

Paul Crouwel teaching the fine art of safe combionation lock manipulation at the Dutch Open 2007

Paul prepared this class with great precision and besides arranging plenty combination locks, he had some tools and charts made to make manipulation more easy. So I would not be surprised if we will have combination lock championships at the Dutch Open in the near future, as some of the attendees became very enthusiastic about opening combination locks this way. And already Paul is receiving requests from other organisations who are interested in attending his classes.

Of course there was a lot of lockpicking going on in Sneek. I have seen some exotic tools, ranging from home made Abus plus picks, to the famous sputnik to the new mul-t-lock opener and more. But what everybody was there for was the Dutch Open championship. Under strict supervision of referee Ivana Belgers (toool eindhoven), Julian Hardt managed to win the open again (just like in 2003).

Image kindly borrowed from SSDeV internal page

Peter Danilov became second, followed by André Matuschek. Too bad Nigel Tolley from the UK became fourth, and Eric Schmiedel of Toool USA became fifth. In total there were 42 people attending the open this year. At least half of them good enough to make it to the finals.

And then there was impressioning:

Manfred won his second impressioning championship title this year. I became second, just like two months ago in Germany.

image kindly borrowed from internal SSDeV page

Manfred opened the lock, setting a new impressioning record of 5 minutes and 19 seconds. It took me just a lousy 28 seconds more: 5 minutes 47. Oliver Diederichsen became third in 6 minutes and 20 seconds. And some background info: there were a total of 22 attendees of which 11 managed to open the lock within the hour. Walter Belgers was last in 58 minutes and 39 seconds (just 1 minute and 21 seconds before the end of the game!). And it was fun to see many people picked up on impressioning and open a lock for the first time this way in Sneek.

The new hostel in Sneek also was a great success. Professionally run by Gea Schmidt and her staff she made everybody feel at home. A small minority was un-happy about the non-smoking policy, but besides that I heard no complaints.

Again, the list of things that happened is too long to fully mention here. Jaakko’s Abus presentation, the interesting things people shared, the lack of time for some scheduled presentations …

So I would like to end here, thanking all that helped make the Dutch Open 2007 a success. The list of people to thank is also too long, as almost all attendees helped out one way or the other. Thank you all, and … see you next year!

Mastermate bouwtechniek dagen, picking in the snow …

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Next week we will be picking in the snow…

click here to go to the mastermate bouwtechniek dagen site ...

The ‘Mastermate bouwtechniek dagen’ will be held in Snowworld Zoetermeer this year, and we will be present to teach the audience the noble art of lockpicking. There will be a big table with some qualified Toool instructors and plenty of locks and tools to get you started. So if you live in the Den Haag/Zoetermeer area come visit us Tuesday or Wednesday November 21/22 (from 13:00 to 21:00).

Some of the Toool members will be trying to improve their best scores in the ongoing 2007 competition, or will use the time to practise for the Dutch Open lockpick and impressioning championships in Sneek November 23/24/25….

key-port prevents key-reading …

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Whenever we do lock-pick or impressioning championships we always make sure to keep the original keys far out of sight of the participants.

click on image to visit

The reason is a two second peek of the key is enough for an expert to ‘read’ it. After that he/she knows the (approximate) key combination and picking or impressioning becomes much more simple.

I even hear rumors surveillance teams try to make photographs of keys visibly worn by suspects to give the NDE operator a head start ….

And in some prisons the guards carry keys in a way the inmates can not see them.

People that are concerned with others ‘reading’ their keys can have a look at a new product called ‘key port’. It is not a cheap solution, but it is effective and sure makes a great Christmas present ….

Criminals thinking inside the box …

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Last month we heard former FBI agent H. Edward Tickel Jr tell the amazing story how he did some blackbag operations, working from inside a cardboard box.

Well, it now seems not only the FBI was clever enough to come up with this method.

nothing to see here folks, pay no attention to this box ...

Some blackbag reader attended me to the following story:

Fri Oct 26, 4:29 PM ET

TORONTO (Reuters) – Two men and a woman who used an ordinary cardboard box to break into over 200 Toronto area fast-food joints were caught by lucky timing, police said on Friday.

The trio arrived at their target with an oversized cardboard box, which they propped up against the restaurant’s front door. One person hid in the box and used specialized tools to break into the restaurant, while the others stood guard with a police scanner and two-way radios.

“They were able to, by experience, literally remove the glass from the pane of the door and then set the glass aside,” said Detective Sergeant Reuben Strober of Toronto Police, adding that the burglars managed to disable most alarm systems at the same time.

Even if the alarms were triggered, the suspects got away before police arrived. Over the course of their crime spree, they made off with some C$250,000 ($260,000), police said.

Strobel said the three were finally caught after police responded to an unrelated call in the neighborhood.

They face 355 charges.

Curious if these guys had an intel background ….

And it is a good thing they are already used to living/working in small spaces, as with 355 charges it might take them some time before they get out of their small little cell ….