#1
Old 12-04-2011, 02:06 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 2
Safe Deposit Boxes

I just opened a safe deposit box and was wondering whether or not the keys can be removed in the unlock position? Just wondering since the banker opens and closes the lock and if he could just pretend to lock it and hand me back my key.
#2
Old 12-04-2011, 10:08 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: South Florida
Posts: 5,027
I suspect that there is no generic answer for this. I haven't visited my (free, empty) safe deposit box in a long time, but I recall last time that it was a box in a box setup. The bank used their key to take the box of it's holder, and handed it to me in a secure room. I then had to use my key to open the actual box, to get at the contents.

If this isn't how yours works, then it's safe to assume that there are variants on how the lock system works. If you happen to notice identifying marks on your box, maybe someone can identify the system and give details.



-D/a
#3
Old 12-04-2011, 10:29 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Scottsdale, more-or-less
Posts: 14,885
If you look at this photo, You can see that there is a notch in the body of the lock. This means that the key can only be inserted or removed when the cylinder lines up with the notch. I'm not sure all safe deposit locks are made this way, but most locks work like this.

Last edited by beowulff; 12-04-2011 at 10:29 AM.
#4
Old 12-04-2011, 11:02 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
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Mine at citibank works like this, there are two keys holes on the lock, one master key by the bank and one by me, the citibank employee opens and closes the locks with both keys. Just wondering because I don't actually physically close the lock. If it doesn't come with the feature of not being able to remove the key in the unlock position the employee could easily just pretend to lock it. Just wondering whether or not anyone knows for sure if its true or not.

Last edited by xnknown; 12-04-2011 at 11:07 AM.
#5
Old 12-04-2011, 11:10 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Scottsdale, more-or-less
Posts: 14,885
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnknown View Post
Mine at citibank works like this, there are two keys holes on the lock, one master key by the bank and one by me, the citibank employee opens and closes the locks with both keys. Just wondering because I don't actually physically close the lock. If it doesn't come with the feature of not being able to remove the key in the unlock position the employee could easily just pretend to lock it. Just wondering whether or not anyone knows for sure if its true or not.
If you're that paranoid (and, you are), just ask to lock the box yourself.
#6
Old 12-04-2011, 12:14 PM
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 40,645
They're usually designed so that they can't return the key to you unless your portion of the lock is locked. The lock is designed like this:

-(-)

(Assume the parentheses extend to form a full circle and the two hyphens are connected)

The key cannot fit into the slot unless the two hyphens are lined up. And they cannot be removed unless the hyphens are lined up. If they returned your key, the lock must be locked.
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#7
Old 12-04-2011, 08:50 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 45
I worked at chase bank for a few years and opened many safe deposit boxes.


The following applies only to chase protocol from several years ago. I don't know how much has changed (don't imagine it has) nor do I have any idea how other banks do it (i imagine it'd be very similar)


1. Client requests access to their box. A banker or teller gets the master deposit box key and escorts the client into a room that leads to the safe (behind a locked door, that only employees can open).

2. Confirm ID of client and get their access card from a filing cabinet. Imagine a bunch of index cards in alphabetical order. Client initials, banker/teller initials and records the time and date.

3. Employee escorts guest into the safe, where both keys are used to open the box (just like in the movies). Box is removed, and the box door is closed so keys can be removed. It can not be locked unless the key is removed. The description of the cylinder that others have mentioned is accuate.

4. Client takes box into private room. They do whatever they want with their box.

5. Client is escorted back into the safe, their door is opened again in the manner described before, box is returned, door is closed and locked and client leaves.




Now after step #2, is really where YMMV.

The vast majority of people just hand me their key after step #2 and wait for me to fetch their box.

Or they'll come in the safe with me, open the box in front of me and take/leave what they need to.



Unrelated observation: people who rent small boxes just use it to store documents and jewelry. People with large boxes store cash. I'm from nyc, and I dealt with a lot of cash laden small business owners.
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