Locked and Safe? Think Again.

NOVEMBER 28, 2006 -- POSTED AT 9:00 P.M. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- So just how safe do you think your home is? Locking your doors may not be much protection, especially if you have regular locks on your doors.

It's called 'Lock Bumping' and although you may not have heard of it, it wouldn't take a thief long to figure it out.

"It is a threat to someone's security of their home," says Tom Smith, the owner of Tom's Lock and Key.

Tom Smith has been a locksmith in Jonesboro for over sixteen years. He says lock bumping is a fairly new way of breaking into homes and it's becoming more and more popular.

"If someone gets a little skill at it, they could be in a house in a matter of seconds," says Smith.

Here's how it works. A normal house key can be turned into a 'bump' key, with deep cuts in each space. To unlock a door, it just takes a tap, or a series of taps and you're in.

"What you're trying to do is bounce the pins to get a momentary gap in the chamber for the cylinder to turn," says Smith.

To show you just how popular this is becoming on the net, you can go to basically any search engine, type in lock bumping, and in just seconds over a million results on where to buy pre-made bump keys, how to bump a lock, and even video demonstrations all right on the internet. On the popular video website, youtube.com, dozens of video demonstrations popped up. This may make some people think twice about what kind of locks are guarding your doors.

"I'm going to say 90 percent of the homes in Jonesboro have some form of a Kwikset lock on their home and that's the lock that can be bumped," says Smith.

Smith says there are ways to protect yourself through alarm systems and motion censored lighting outside, but he says most importantly, better secured locks are your best bet. There are only 2 brands of locks that are "bump" proof, and they're quite pricy.

"Medeco's or Schlage Primus locks, which are high security locks and really that is the only thing available right now to secure your house," says Smith.

'Bump Proof' Locks: