What is in the NZ mystery safe?

Walter Hickey at Business Insider reports:

frghdA mysterious vault found in the basement of a New Zealand home has Reddit users salivating over what could possibly be inside.

On Friday Reddit user dont_stop_me_smee posted an album on the Pics subreddit, explaining that a friend of his moved into a former drug house and found a huge safe and that they wanted to get it opened.

Surrounding the massive vault are ten inches of solid reinforced concrete on all sides, and curiosity about the contents have reached a fever pitch on the massive news and entertainment site.

Immediately, several Reddit users with advanced knowledge of safes chimed in with tips and suggestions. Redditor Tof1911 quickly identified the vault as a Sargent and Greenleaf dial 6630 and recommended opening it with either a stethoscope or a bore-a-scope.

Soon, the original poster announced that he had set up a special subreddit to discuss the safe and provide updates, /r/WhatsInThisThing, which rocketed to over 60,000 subscribers in two days.

For some time, dont_stop_me_smee had even set up a live stream of the vault as he and friends attempted to figure out how to get in.

Some Redditors following the vault grew frustrated with the original poster’s reticence to just call a locksmith but still others kept researching. One learned that there is only one Sargent and Greenleaf retailer in all of New Zealand, a possible lead.

A fun mystery that has a fair part of the net-world intrigued.  I’m not surprised at the reticence to call a locksmith.  What locksmith is going to be able to crack a safe?

This morning, dont_stop_me_smee made a number of announcements. First, he contacted several safe experts in the New Zealand area to try to crack the beast. He also used the intelligence that several Redditors had assembled to try all of the factory settings of the S&G dial 6630, unfortunately with no success.

He also categorically declined to just blow the safe up, prompting groans.

The posts about the safe repeatedly hit the front page, and it’s one of the major stories of the Reddit news cycle.

If the contents of a massive locked vault that previously belonged to a New Zealand drug dealer interest you at all, join us in constantly refreshing /r/WhatsInThisThing.


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  • Mediaan

    I was in that position once. Old bank building. While I was overseas, the building listed for sale, a real estate agent gave a client the key so he could go have a look – by himself. He found the booklet, huge Chubb strongroom, closed the propped open doors, and changed the dual dial codes. Five thousand dollars and three teams of experts later, including one from the people recommended by the bank that sold me the building, I still could not ever get in. The walls were ten or twelve inch concrete with irregular shards of steel embedded. One team tried to cut in the door, couldn’t. Went to talk to the agent’s estate agency boss, and he gave me such a sob story about personal and financial devastation I …

  • peterwn

    Chubbs once had an easy opening job. After moving out of a building I gave the property officer the safe combo and key to the back flap to pass to any new owner. I happened to meet a Chubb guy on another matter and told him I knew the combo of that safe. A few weeks later he phoned up wanting it to get the safe open for a tenant to use. Must have been his easiest safe opening job.

  • Dave

    Many years ago, in a engineering firm, we had a old and large safe with a very heavy door that was left by the previous business, a prominent “cash” business. Got a call one night from the police, they had disturbed a pair of criminals who had smashed their way into the building and were trying to cut their way into the safe with the Oxy torch. Cops insisted I open it for them, so a foot against the safe frame, and with force, I pulled the door open, to their surprise it wasn’t even locked. Why on earth didn’t you lock it they called. My reply – take a look chaps…….. We used the safe to store welding rods and other items needing a cool dry storage area.

  • Ronnie Chow

    IRD ..Circling .
    Police …Circling .
    Burglars ..circling .

    • Anonymouse Coward

      If Mark “Chopper” Reid knocks on the door with either a blow torch or bolt cutters in hand, don’t answer it.

  • peterwn

    “What locksmith is going to be able to crack a safe?” See:

    This is a modest ‘three wheel’ combination lock intended for smaller safes, etc. S&G claim 1,000,000 combinations but omit to mention that 10 to 20% of them are unusable (ie last number in the range 95-15 or so). Also manufacturing tolerances further reduce it to 110,000 or so effective combinations. S&G claims it will resist manipulation for two hours. A locksmith specialising in safes like Auckland Lock and Safe Servicing Ltd (a member of the Safe and Vault Technicians Association in USA) would most probably get it open in that time or even quicker with a bit of precision drilling.

    Bank vaults use superior ‘four wheel’ locks with 100,000,000 nominal combinations and these would be high precision locks with extra anti-manipulation features.

    Sorry to spoil a good story.

  • Mr Sackunkrak

    It’s not in Mt Albert by any chance?