Archive for December, 2010

Assa d12

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

2011 will bring some interesting papers on advanced locks. Both Michael Huebler and Han Fey are working on articles on some unique locks. Han’s article will be about the latest lock from Assa, the d12.

ASSA700 In my previous posting I asked what two locks had in common. I will now give you the answer. The bottom lock is the famous ‘seven pin’ ASSA 700 lock, and contains some extremely nasty anti-pick pins. In short: if you tension the lock and lift a few pins, the lock will ‘freeze’. Once a pin is locked between the core and the house you can only move it again after (almost?) fully releasing tension. We learned this seven pin lock was developed and produced already over a period of 50 years (!), and is still a very common ‘medium security’ lock in Sweden.

And they call it medium security. Sure, if you compare the seven pin version to locks like the Assa Twin system (pdf) (like Twin Combi and DP) there is still a huge difference between them. But I dare to call the design of the 700 high security anyway.

assa d12

The top image from my previous posting shows the new ‘medium security lock’ by Assa. It is a new design to replace the Assa 700 lock and it is called the d12. So that is what they have in common.

ASSA d12Han’s preview of the d12 article already covers twenty pages(!). Here is some basic info about this amazing new lock. The pin has two tips, and there can be an offset between the left and right contact points. This gives very interesting properties for masterkey-systems. To prevent the pins from twisting, they are equipped with little wings that fall into a slot in the channel of the core. And the wings also make some of the pins ‘float’, so a ‘999’ key will not make contact with all pins. If you look at the image, you can see the fifth pin is much longer and is being operated by a lower portion of the key. And if you manage to get your picktool inserted, the lock has the same anti-pick properties as the 700 series. You will have to be patient for Han’s article to read all the ins- and outs of this system, but I can just say it is neat to see groundbreaking new technology like this enter the market.

And last but not least: there was a small error in Han’s image in my previous post. Pin six was not positioned correct (as Michael Huebler pointed out in the comments). Below is the correct image.

Assa d12

To be continued (somewhere in 2011) …

What do these two locks have in common?

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Really, I think highly of you. And Han and I are just curious if people know the relationship between these two locks shown below, and how long it will take before the correct answer is given in the comments. After Christmas I will come back with the answer here anyway.


? 2

Lockpicking thieves are coming

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Han and I get more and more work as expert witnesses in court cases and in lock-forensics these days. It is one of the reasons we invest a lot in Macro Photography.

can you see what happened here?

It seems more criminals are using clever opening techniques to break into places, and in the Netherlands not many people have the expertise to be able to show what happened. News about this kind of ‘burglaries without a trace’ cases even make it to the front page of Dutch newspapers.

inbraak zonder schade via lockpicking

The article was about the ‘Twente case’. Dutch Police in Twente (.NL) arrested a twenty-five year old male on November 4th. A witness gave the police a description of a person who most likely broke a window at a shop at the Heutinkstraat in Enschede. Police noticed a person on a bicycle who matched the description, but the man tried to escape when they approached him. After a short chase the man was arrested, and the first official report (mirror) about this incident mentioned the man possessed ‘burglary tools’.

A later report (mirror) stated the man was taken into custody and his house was searched. At his house a lot of stolen goods were discovered, as well as a ‘large amount of cash’. Police soon discovered the man used manual lockpicking to break into houses. His territory was a range of houses of elderly people at the Marthastraat and C.F. Klaarstraat in Enschede. So far he confessed thirteen burglaries committed over an 18 months period. He mostly went out at night and used a lockpick set to gain entry. As police stated, the man ‘worked very clean’, and in some of the cases the owners of the house never even realized they had been burglarized! He managed to take away expensive goods, silver and cash without leaving a trace. To make things worse, he even used the burglarized houses for mail order fraud. He successfully mail ordered gold and expensive goods without the owners of the houses knowing.

According to police spokeswoman Chantal Westerhoff, the burglar had ‘very sensitive fingers’. She said “Lockpicking is a special trade, and not a lot of people can do what this guy did”.

After his confession, and showing lots of remorse, the man was released from custody. He will soon have to account for his behavior in court. I hope I can find out what day the court case is, and I will try to follow up on the story. Any information on the case is welcome, so feel free to mail me if you know more about it.

* Note December 2: I received additional information about the case. The trial will be held in February 2011 (no date set yet). And it is going to generate a lot of media attention as there are some very interesting angles to the story.