Criminals Google 'How To Open Safe' In Middle Of Burglary - InformationWeek
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7/12/2007
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Criminals Google 'How To Open Safe' In Middle Of Burglary

A couple of burglars were stymied when they tried to crack a safe, so they found a computer that had been left on and simply Googled for the information they needed to make off with $12,000 worth of loot.

Need a little help cracking a safe and making off with $12,000 worth of money and computer equipment?

Just Google it.

That's what two men did in a Colorado Springs, Colo., burglary.

The burglars, who have yet to be caught, broke into Bigg City, a large amusement center, at 2:45 a.m. on June 11, according to Sgt. Dale Fox of the Colorado Springs Police Department. Despite making off with cash, a laptop, and a PlayStation 3 game console worth a total of $12,000, these weren't a couple of brilliant thieves.

Even though they had the pass code needed to get into the company's main office and the combination to the safe, the two men still couldn't open it up. "It's more involved than a combination on a school locker," said Fox. "It's not rocket science, but it's more involved." Stymied as to what to do next, the men found a computer that had been left on in the office and simply Googled for information on how to break into the safe.

They found what they needed, opened it up, and made off with the loot.

Police aren't yet sure what Web site gave them the information they needed, but they figure the criminals looked up specifics on the make and model of the safe and found information on how to work the dial combination.

"People can look up how to commit murders and how to commit acts of terrorism and these guys just wanted to break into a safe," said Fox, adding that the whole caper took about an hour.

And how do the police know all of this? Well, the men tried to black out the security cameras but, instead of using a can of spray paint, they used a can of WD-40 cleaner and lubricant. Instead of obfuscating the lens, the spray merely cleaned it, giving police a clearer picture of the burglary.

"They even sprayed a fire alarm at first, thinking it was a security camera," said Detective Chuck Ackerman, who is investigating the burglary.

Ackerman and Fox both said the burglars had ties inside the company, since they came equipped with a pass code to gain entry into the main office, along with the combination to the safe. Ackerman said they have investigated current workers at Bigg City and have eliminated them as suspects, so they now believe the burglars are former employees or friends of current employees.

The Colorado Springs Police Department recently put the surveillance video online in hopes of receiving a tip about the crime. Fox said so far they've only gotten a "few weak tips."

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