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Locks, Safes and Security: An International Police Reference. Government Version 5.0.

***** Locks, Safes and Security: An International Police Reference. Government Version 5.0. By Marc Weber Tobias; book published by Charles C. Thomas; the full set is available from (Web); 1,400-page book plus 14 CD-ROMs; $600.

Michelangelo had the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Cervantes had Don Quixote, and Rodin had The Thinker. The comprehensive Locks, Safes and Security can be considered Marc Weber Tobias's masterwork. What it lacks in the grace and beauty of virtuoso pieces of art, it makes up for with a mountain of usable information.

Some background on this combination book/CD-ROM set is necessary. Originally published in 1970 as a hardcopy treatise on locks and safes, it has added a fully searchable electronic component, with the last update having been released in July 2004.

Three versions of the set are available. The government version (reviewed here) contains the book and 14 CD-ROMs. The locksmith and alarms versions (reviewed below) contain the book and six and four disks, respectively. The government and alarms versions are available only to the law enforcement, intelligence, and defense communities.

This set is the result of the author's life quest to discover weaknesses in security procedures and faults in security devices and systems. Commonly called LSS+, the electronic version features a tremendous search engine that allows security professionals to retrieve extremely detailed information in the form of text, graphic, audio, and visual files.

Woven together, these materials allow users to traverse an incredibly broad range of topics, most notably how to circumvent the latest technical security devices and alarm systems. Even the most experienced locksmith or security professional is likely to be enlightened by the revelations provided.

Targeted to law enforcement agencies, this version can be used to gather evidence about high-tech burglaries and intrusions. Its plethora of information details the tools that are used in covert and forced attacks and describes evidence that is likely to be left at the scene.


Thirty hours of video show specific techniques for defeating locks and alarm systems. The multimedia approach makes the work an excellent learning tool. The offerings range from showing demonstrations of how to bypass master-key systems to depicting experts from around the world as they describe specialized tools and techniques for opening locks and safes.

Learning how to defeat locks is key, but Tobias also shows how they can be protected. Still, even the more sophisticated protection systems can be overcome, and Tobias shows that as well. This masterpiece will be of immense value to security professionals.

Reviewer: David D. Daily, CPP, is the founder and part-owner of Dakota Security Systems Inc., a nationwide installer of physical security equipment since 1979. He is current chapter secretary for ASIS International's South Dakota chapter.
COPYRIGHT 2005 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Daily, David D.
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Oct 1, 2005
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