Darwin Award Winners? Or Just Plain Unlucky Safe Crackers?

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October 18, 2013 by kittynh

Living in rural New Hampshire, my favorite news sources are the local free newspapers.  You know the ones, the content is mainly advertisements and coverage of the local high school sports teams.

In the past, my favorite paper “The Villager” has not only featured a photograph I took on the front page, but also covered the potential alligator living in the lake where I have my summer cabin.  It’s truly all the news you need to know.


Why wouldn’t I love a paper with the good taste to put a photograph I took on the front page?

Page 3 of the October 11, 2013 edition has a story that I felt should have been on the front page.

Thieves killed in blast

“Two young men died in an explosion in Hopkington early Tuesday morning

when using a torch to cut open a safe with fireworks, inside”

Page three?  I wondered just how common this sort of accident was.  Still, the story got even better.

“The mangled, 4-foot high and concrete-lined safe blew through the building.  

The two were using an oxy-acetlylene  cutting torch, which sparked off the

pyrotechnic material inside the box”

It shows what a skeptic I am that I thought “Mythbusters“.  My mind flew to Jamie, Adam, Carrie, Grant and Tory attempting to blow a 4 foot safe through a building.  I began to wonder if it was just fireworks that would cause a safe to blow up, and imagined the Mythbusters testing safes filled with things such as ammunition and baking soda and vinegar.

When I’ve mentioned this story to people, several have asked why anyone would store fireworks in a safe.  This makes sense to me, New Hampshire is a state where buying fireworks is pretty easy and storing them in a safe place is important, especially if you have children or teenagers that might be tempted by those fireworks.  My front page photograph that was featured on “The Villager” was of a firework display put on by my neighbor.  We go big in New Hampshire, my neighbor’s display usually lasts at least an hour.


Jamie explaining to my daughter Aynsley why being smart is a good thing! (Actually they talked the entire lunch and ignored everyone else, I think they are both perhaps shy and found they were kindred spirits.)

I also know people that store their guns and ammunition in their safe.  Living in the “Life Free or Die” state, where gun ownership is a matter of personal pride, most gun owners are safe gun owners, and nothing is safer than a safe!


Open fire? Or Open the Safe and Open a Hole in the Wall?

This brings up the question, were the blown up safe crackers simply victims of circumstances they could never have imagined? Then there is the thought, are they Darwin award winners because they should have known most safes have the potential to have something dangerous and explosive inside?  Do smart safe crackers know not to use a torch or in anyway involve fire when opening a safe? Do professional safe crackers depend on the good old movie stereotype of ear to the dial?  What about the drilling method, which I have also on TV and in movies, is there a danger of heat from a drill setting off fireworks, ammunition or heaven forbid, vinegar and baking soda?

I need your vote here.

1.Darwin Award Winners

2. Unlucky Safe Crackers

Also, why wasn’t this story on the front page?

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