Central Florida law enforcers believe that some burglars are using cheap, readily available tools called bump keys to rob homes, says the Orlando Sentinel. Burglars use these ground-down keys to open nearly any lock they fit into by giving them a tap — or “bump” — with a blunt object. The method leaves little, if any, evidence that a lock has been tampered with. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has identified members of a suspected bump-key ring, including a mother and son arrested in January.
Because it is difficult to find evidence of bump-key use, it is virtually impossible for law enforcement to track the number of burglaries involving the tool. Bump-key burglars tend to break into multiple-family housing units, where all doors are constructed with the same type of lock. At first, law-enforcement agencies suspected maintenance workers were burglarizing apartment and condominium complexes where they worked. Information about the keys, including how to make and use them, is widely available on the Internet. Some Web sites sell professionally made bump keys for as little as $3.