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Calling all safecrackers! The DeKalb Area Women's Center needs your help

Austin Cliffe

UPDATE: The safes remain uncracked. The DeKalb Area Women's Center will have more opportunities in the future.

The DeKalb Area Women’s Center has a mystery on its hands…and is inviting the public to help solve it.

Center director Anna Marie Coveny says they discovered an old locked safe under the floor of the 105-year-old Finnish Temperance Hall earlier this year. They had to tear up the floor after several bouts of severe flooding in the center. That's when they found a two-key safe under the floor of the building's office area. The problem is there are no keys.

So now, the public is invited to try their hand at cracking not one, but two locked safes that have been in the Old Finn Hall unopened, for decades. While the Brink's safe with cylindrical access was new to Coveny, she's known about the combination lock safe that served as the base for a table for years in the DAWC's office. That safe's combination was forgotten generations ago.

Tickets are available at the door or online for the event. The all-day cracking competition starts at 11 at the DeKalb Area Women’s Center, 1021 State Street, Oct.21, 2023. There will also be a day-long showing of heist movies, plus snacks....including crackers, of course.

Professional locksmiths and hobbyists are invited to try to crack the safes, but no explosives or blowtorches are allowed.

Rules, ticket information, and timing is available at dawcsafecrackingchallenge.org.

Susan is an award-winning reporter/writer at her favorite radio station. She's also WNIJ's Perspectives editor, Under Rocks contributor, and local host of All Things Considered.