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Sat, Oct 21


DeKalb Area Women's Center

The DAWC Great Safe Cracking Challenge

Safe crackers and observers will participate in a timed, turn-based experience where safe crackers will have a chance to crack one or two unopened 1940s safes contained in the DeKalb Area Women's Center, the former Finnish Temperance Hall.

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The DAWC Great Safe Cracking Challenge
The DAWC Great Safe Cracking Challenge

Time & Location

Oct 21, 2023, 11:00 AM – 11:50 PM

DeKalb Area Women's Center, 1021 State St, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA

About The Event

The DeKalb Area Women's Center Great Safe Cracking Challenge is an all-ages event that will take place on October 21st from 11 AM - 11:50 PM. Safe crackers, lock pickers, locksmiths, and hobbyists and the curious alike are welcome to take a chance at cracking one or both of our two safes. The first safe is an above-ground dial combination safe. The second is a two-key operated safe from Brinks in Chicago. In both cases, traditional means of opening the safes, in keeping with the era of the safes and the historic building will be allowed. No use of blow torches, contemporary machines, or explosives will be permitted in opening the safes during this event. Hint: for the second safe, you will need to do your research and see if you can get ahold of the keys from Brinks (perhaps they have an archive). 

Crackers: for $10 per safe, you will get 30-minutes for each safe you have signed up to crack. On the day of the event, crackers will get a time slot for cracking the safes; first come first serve. No use of blow torches, explosives, or modern safe-cracking machines will be allowed. While you're waiting for your turn, you can watch classic and contemporary heist films; and partake of refreshments. At 5 PM, if nobody has opened one or both safes, we will move into a lighning round. Crackers will be allowed to use drills during this round, and each turn is 15 minutes. Turns that are already scheduled will proceed with 30-minute slots. New signups for the lighning round will happen 'at the door' and be cash only with no change to ticket price.

Observers: you will get the opportunity to watch as our 'crackers' attempt the safes downstairs in limited numbers at a time (as there isn't much space where our crackers will be working), while upstairs the whole process will be projected live on screen. In addition, we'll get into the spirit of safe-cracking by watching PG-13 heist-related films including Oceans 13, Oceans 8, Sneakers, and How to Steal a Million.

Parents: please view the full event schedule and make your own educated decision about what parts of the event you may wish to attend, or not attend, with your children. All films are PG-13.

Everyone will receive a wrist band for re-entry. Come and go throughout the day as you please (but Crackers, don't miss your turn!)

Refreshments will be served.


  • DAWC Safe Cracking Challenge

    From $5.00 to $10.00
    Sale ended
    • $10.00
      +$0.25 service fee
    • $10.00
      +$0.25 service fee
    • $5.00
      +$0.13 service fee



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