This is an important post if you use a locker without a padlock in a public place. I was oblivious to the difference in lock quality until I started going to the gym again. The wall poster showing recommended locks, and a notice that locker theft does happen, was a wake up call. Before that day, I was one of the people who thought any cheap lock was okay. I now know what is in my wallet is worth far more than the price of any lock I buy.
Lock choices I see in the gym locker room run the gamut from cheap children’s diary locks, TSA approved locks, three dollar padlocks to top of the line $150.00+ locks. Care to venture a guess as to what the most common locks are? Any lock under $8.00 for some reason. Though one of the gyms has a poster of locks they recommend and cheap locks are not on the approved list. I guess most gym locker users figure the poster is for other people and not them.
Some people, mostly Women feeling especially robbery conscious, park their car, open their trunk, and put their purse or other valuables in the trunk of their car. The idea is brilliant, except, there are probably thieves sitting in a car looking for someone doing this. A Woman recently arrested here in town is known to have broken into twelve cars in the last few months, and suspected in many more. The police cautioned of groups that specialize in robbing cars at gyms.
When conditions were right, the thief was in the car, into the trunk through the back seat and walking out of a big box store thirty minutes later with over one thousand dollars of merchandise, paid for with stolen credit cards. The big box store had videos of this happening, yet the Woman was successful several later times after she was found out. I imagine any credit cards not used were sold to another thief to use. Who knows about drivers license, medical cards, insurance cards, etc.
Back to the gym, the cheapest of lock can be opened with a shoelace. Other locks can be easily shimmed. Combination locks can be opened as quickly as forty seconds. You may take a look on youtube for lock videos if you wish. I did and I was shocked.
That was the day I put my $8.00 combo lock in the drawer and went to a lock shop and bought a serious lock. I started online, but customer ratings and review numbers are not an indication of how a secure a lock is. They are really only a price point ratio, imo. So I went to a brick and mortar store.
As the store owner told me, even the lock I bought isn’t impervious to being opened without a key. Due to the construction, I was told it can not be shimmed, and would take a professional some amount of time to pick it open. More than the minute or so, a group of thieves in a gym have. The object, I was told is making other lockers with cheap locks on them easier targets; which is the real purpose of a good lock.
How much should you pay for a lock? I am not the person to ask. I can say after shopping online, I went to a local locksmith and looked at a large selection of locks before making a purchase. I was shown about ten different locks, and eliminated five right away because I saw them shimmed on youtube videos. Of the four locks left I was told they were good locks, and it was more likely the locker would be damaged before the lock could be picked.
Of those, two locks were just too large for a gym locker. That left two locks to choose from. I asked if one had an advantage over the other, and which one would the business use. You need to decide what is the right lock for you. If you are using a cheap key or combo lock, it is only a matter of time before the contents of your locker will be stolen. How much will it cost to replace what would be taken?