Profile of Charlie Santore, licensed safecracker in Los Angeles.
Geoff Manaugh at www.theatlantic.com:
“Everybody has a box,” Santore said to me one day over lunch. “They have some place where they keep things and they don’t want anybody else to know what’s in there.” His hands were blackened with metal dust from a jewel safe he had drilled that morning. “There’s something sort of esoteric or ambiguous about that,” he continued, “like the safe is someone’s little space—someone’s psyche—and not everyone’s psyche is a clean place, you know?”
Elaad Israeli, a 35-year-old safecracker with Precision Lock & Safe in Queens, told me that he almost got arrested after unwittingly helping a man rob his own father: The guy’s ID matched the name of the safe’s owner, but it turned out to be a case of Junior ripping off Senior. John Greenan, a 58-year-old safecracker at Fink Safe & Lock in Chicago, told me about cracking safes at the Federal Reserve building, as well as a long-sealed vault door in the basement of a Chicago cathedral (inside, he found a treasure trove of gold chalices and ritual ware). The 34-year-old Wayne Winton from Tri-County Locksmith once saw an old safe being used as a side table at a Colorado newspaper office. Nobody knew what was inside. Winton offered to crack it—and when the door swung open, they found unpublished photos of the serial killer Ted Bundy.
Wonderful article about finding philosophical outlook in unexpected places.