The Safecracker

I recall reading this story in a Boston Globe editorial highlighting the professional ethics of a criminal; a safecracker recently released from prison who finds a legit job across the Charles River from where he lived just outside the city of Boston. Desperately trying to stay off the path that would lead him back to jail, the safecracker walks to work daily, on time with nothing on his mind but serving his new legit master. Everyday, he walks past the Coca-Cola factory on Storrow Drive with its giant chrome safe standing proudly in its window. Day after day, going to work; the safe taunting his every sideways glance.

One day, the safecracker shows up at the local police station with satchels of cash and prizes. He informs the police at the station that he has just come from the Coca-Cola building where he has cracked the safe and emptied it into the bags that now lay on the station desk. He just couldn’t take it anymore. He had built an exact replica of the chrome safe, a fake but perfectly crafted façade, of paint and wood. With about a foot of working space between his fake and the real safe, the safecracker had quickly erected his chrome painted copy in the Coke building under the cover of darkness and cracked the safe. No one who passed the building that night noticed anything out of whack. The safecracker explained to the police that he just had to get it out of his system, that he meant not harm. The police let him go and returned the loot to Coca-cola and went back to his legit and satisfied life. True story.