On tonight’s series premiere of “The Safecrackers,” viewers were introduced to a pair of Alabama locksmiths, Phil Crawford and his BFF Blaze, who travel the country unlocking mysteries in lost and abandoned safes.
As the episode begins, a man who inherited his late grandfather’s house and contents brings in a heavy cylindrical safe for Phil to open. Phil tells him the price to open it is $250, and he agrees. In practically no time, Phil has the safe open and lets the owner check for the contents. Inside were only two old hand filed steel keys. Phil tells him that whatever they open, must be valuable, or they would not lock up a set of keys. He recalls that he had a fallout shelter, but the man has never been inside of it. Phil asks if he could take a look at it and the man agrees, because Phil has never seen one either. Phil will call him and they will both explore the unknown.
As Blaze and his wife Summertime are preparing a cookout, Phil and his girlfriend Michelle, arrive just in time to eat. The topic of the day is an old hotel called the Gilmore, that experienced a fire and they found a safe built into the wall that nobody knew about. The place had a reputation in the past of prostitution and gambling, so they are interested in getting there before anyone else. Blaze has the contact info and will call first thing Monday morning.
They arrive at the Gilmore and meet Sonny, who tells them the fire revealed an alcove that was hidden for many years. The safe was huge, and the place had a piano dated 1875, along with several antique fixtures. Phil tells him they usually get $800 for such a task, but the man looks around at the rubble and tells them what he is dealing with. Phil then states that instead of charging him upfront, he will settle for a percentage of the contents. He started with 50%, but the man haggled him down to 30% of what is inside, if anything.
Phil had to drill a hole and look through with a fiber optic scope to find the location of the lock, it was like a surgeon doing an operation and a tedious one at that. Once unlocked, the customer always opens the safe. This one did not produce the treasure they were hoping for, a ledger, one gold earring, antique pipes and tobacco were all they found.
The next stop was to see Billy, the man with the fallout shelter. The bunker was built outside with a concrete vault-like entrance and as the grandfather was a military man, Phil warned about the possibility of it being booby-trapped. They agreed to a 50-50 split of anything found inside of value. The old keys did not go to the padlock on the outside, so maybe it fits something inside. When they cut the lock, they carefully opened the top, but it was not booby trapped. Looking down, they could not even see the bottom, so it must be pretty deep. Phil was first to go down and it was dry as a bone in there. Phil summoned Blaze to come down and see the 1960s stuff in there. The bunk beds resembled prison, and with a water-tight secure place, this man was ready for a catastrophe. A pump that brought in air, a Geiger counter to check for radiation, bottles of water were dated 1968 and an old paymaster safe from the military. The safe was very heavy, but with a winch, they pulled it up with just enough room for it to fit through. Makes one wonder how the old man got it down there in the first place. The keys that were locked up opened a padlock, but the other lock had to be opened by Phil. Once opened, they let the customer open it. It contained a small Derringer, his grandfather’s coin collection and lots of photos of Billy when he was a child inside the family bible. The coins and gun will be appraised, but the memories all belong to Billy on this episode of “The Safecrackers.”
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