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Bump Keys Did Not Work On My House

Almost exactly a year ago, I posted a blog about Bump Keys.  It was very popular and I thought a useful public service. 

Burglary is a sensitive thing for us this time of year.  In the early 80's we were burglarized on Christmas Eve.  Even though nobody was home, it was traumatic.

However, last night was the Christmas Chorale Concert at school.  We piled into the car, and left for the concert, all of us except my wife.  She is still in bed and unable to do that sort of thing.

Within 20 minutes of our leaving, our two-year-old dog went nuts and could not be settled.  She screamed and ran upstairs to the bedroom landing.  The dog continued to run up and down stairs, screaming fearfully the whole time, and never leaving Wanda for more than a couple of seconds.  Wanda heard tapping at the rear doors.  Someone was attempting to bump the locks.

We have two French doors on the back deck.  The lower locks can be bumped. 

The Medeco locks I installed last year cannot be bumped.

Now, a couple of comments - obviously:

1.  Our house was watched.  Either the burglar(s) thought it was empty or they knew Wanda was alone.

2.  The dog's screaming did not frighten or deter them.

3.  They could see the Medeco logo on the outside of the lock set.  They probably know Medeco locks cannot be bumped, but apparently hoped they had not been set.

Well, the Medeco locks were set.  I locked them before we left.

All Wanda did was stand at the bedroom door and call the police.  Around the corner, the police were in our yard in less than two minutes!  She stayed on the phone with the police phone operator, as instructed, until they rang the doorbell.

Had the burglars entered the house and come to the bedroom, ours would have been the last house they would have ever tried to enter.  She was just waiting for them, if you know what I mean...

BUT, especially this time of year, don't hope or assume burglars will never come to your house!  Make it as hard for them as you can.  Call a locksmith and have locks installed that cannot be bumped.

My recommendation:   Protect your house with really good locks.  They aren't cheap, but worth it.  Who knows, just like our case, perhaps your new locks will save the life of a burglar or two...

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 23 commentsJay Markanich • December 16 2009 05:53AM

Comments

Good information Jay, and good to pass on to your new home buyers. I was not familiar with these locks.

Posted by Dave Iliff, Real Estate Agent in Hockessin, DE (Patterson Schwartz) almost 9 years ago

Dave - bump keys are a huge problem around here, brought to us by our "friends" from south of the border.  Even if bump keys are not a problem there yet, I recommend the locks!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

What a frightening experience for your wife!  Good to know she was "prepared".   I've never heard of bump keys and will investigate this more.

Posted by Mary Ann Daniell Central Texas Realtor, Homes - Land - Small Acreage (Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Subsidiary of NRT LLC ) almost 9 years ago

Mary Ann - check with your local police or lock smiths to see if bump keys are a problem in your area.  Around here Medecos and other lock sets are selling like hot cakes.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay, I'm glad your wife was waiting for them, and yes I know what you mean! Merry Christmas to your family! Kate

Posted by Kate Kate almost 9 years ago

She can't afford to take chances Kate!  Lucky for them they didn't get in...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

It's funny Jay, while I've never spoken or blogged with your wife, I feel like I know her! And I have a suspicion those burgers got off easy by not meeting up with her! Maybe she and I are kindred spirits!

Posted by Kate Kate almost 9 years ago

She wasn't afraid, Kate, but the dog was freaked and yet very protective of her.  Ran back and forth checking the doors and coming back to her.  She patiently waited.  They could not have approached her without being seen and they would not have seen her little friend...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

The important thing is no one was hurt. The burglars would have gotten what they deserved if they had been "lucky" enough to gain entry. I do remember your blog on the bump keys. That was the first and last time up til now I have heard of them.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 9 years ago

James - it may be that they are not a problem in your area... yet.  And that's great!  Ask a lock smith if he is putting in bump-proof locks.  Around here one local company, that is all over the area with different locations, is selling Medeco locks like pancakes.

And while I'm glad no one was hurt, had anyone gotten in it would have been one form of "giving back..."

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay, I hate these urban terrorists----opportunistic slime balls (is that too harsh?)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Jay,

Creepy story but, actually, lucky she was home to call the cops. They might have tried something else like breaking a window.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Steve - that makes too much noise, and bumping is nearly silent outside the house.  There is more going on than I am able to mention here. 

Charlie - not harsh enough!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay - I'm glad everything turen out well, I never heard of bump keys, but now I will make some changes.

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Eric - check my other post on bump keys too.  It is informative.  Check around with your locksmiths there about whether they are a problem or what they recommend.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Guess who I thought about during my afternoon inspection?

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 7 years ago

Is that a cool key or what!  Hey, that's the same number as on my key...

That's a bad ass lock, isn't it?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

It is - and all of the doors were keyed alike.  Smooth operation.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 7 years ago

Works best when they put in the extra little metal striker box like I did in my house.  They are great locks.

And you thought of me?  I'm blushing...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Hey, it was just a week or two ago that I told you I had never seen one on a single family home. 

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 7 years ago

Proving that there are security-smart people in MN also!

And thanks again for McNabb.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Yeah... shove it :)

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 7 years ago

Hey, the fork is already stuck in us!  We have lost 7 starters on offense!  Four on defense!  They can't score when they need, can't stop anyone when they need.  Um...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

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