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TUCoPS :: Physical Security :: lausd.txt

Breaking into Los Angeles Schools

          |||                                                      |||
          |||               ----------------------                 |||
          |||               * LAUSD Infiltration *                 |||
          |||               ----------------------                 |||
          |||     ____________________________________________     |||
          |||                                                      |||
          |||           Hints and Tips for breaking into           |||
          |||                                                      |||
          |||      Valley Los Angeles Unified School District      |||
          |||                                                      |||
          |||              Halls, Rooms and Buildings              |||
          |||     ____________________________________________     |||
          |||                                                      |||
          |||                                                      |||
          |||               Written by The Ramsacker               |||
          |||                                                      |||
          |||           With special thanx to Deep Freez           |||
          |||                      and others                      |||
          |||                                                      |||
          |||                                                      |||


                  /                                          \
     ____________/             /// Forward ///                \___________
    /                                                                     \
   /      All the information presented here has been obtained through     \
  | extensive research and first hand experimentation and the data gathered |
  | is the result of many  late night hours spent by Deep Freez  and myself |
  | (and sometimes other friends)  exploring schools and their buildings in |
  | search  of  useful  equipment.  These  excursions  usually  took  place |
  | between the  hours  of 9:00 PM and 1:00 AM.   The main  purpose of this |
  | file  is to educate the  reader on the  methods used to gain  access to |
  | school  buildings  and in no  way encourages  the  employment of  these |
   \  methods.  The author  takes  no  responsibility for  any  moron who  /
    \____________ attempts the activities illustrated in this ____________/
                 \   article and is caught in the process.   /


                     [- Part I: General Door Information -]

A.  Hallways

     Hallway doors in Valley LAUSD schools are double doors with panic bolts.
They are at either end of the hallway or anywhere in between (usually in the
middle) and have a bar extending the length of each door horizontally (the
panic bolt).  These bars stick out approximately five inches from the face of
the door and three inches in from the inner end.  The outside face of these
doors usually has a keyhole and a lever or latch and a handle.  When a key is
used to unlock the door,  the latch is then operated and the door will open
at the pull of the handle.  On some of these doors,  there will be no keyhole
on the outside of the door.  The space between some of these doors is
approximately an eighth of an inch wide,  but many times there will be a
strip of metal riveted down the length of the inner edge of each door to
decrease this space to about one sixteenth of an inch.  On occasion,  a hall
door may have a rafter in the center of the doorway that will hinder the
passage of any object being inserted in between the doors.  Hallway doors
will usually have windows on each door.

B.  Auditoriums and Gyms (large buildings used for public gatherings)

     The doors used on large school buildings such as auditoriums and gyms
are the same as those used in halls and all the information in Part A can be
applied here.  These doors,  however,  will never have windows on them.

C.  Classroom and Office Doors

     Most of the doors on classrooms and offices use locks which allow them
to be opened without the need of a key from the inside and require a key to
be opened from the outside (unless they are unlocked).  The inside doorknob
always turns while the outside doorknob will only turn when the door is
either unlocked or a key is used to enable the knob to be turned.  These
doors usually have mechanisms that automatically close them.  These doors have
two types of latches.  One latch consists of a main lock and a small,
collapsable, rounded tooth right above it.  The main lock has three
triangular teeth:  one between two others and oriented oppposite the two.
When examined from the top of the lock,  this configuration looks like a
crown.  When the knob is turned,  the middle tooth will collapse and become
flush with the outside teeth while all teeth are simultaneously pulled into
the door jamb.  The other type of latch has the same basic configuration as
the first one except that the main latch is just one, big triangular tooth
that will collapse into the door jamb when the door knob is turned (same as a
house lock).  Take note that the first latch discussed will most likely be
found on all doors in a school (aside from hallway doors) and the second
latch described will not be come across as often.  Classroom and office doors
on the outside of buildings will usually have plates covering the door jambs
to obstruct the insertion of any object.

D.  Computer Lab Doors

     Computer labs have the latches on their doors replaced with ones where
the latch is on the inside of the door,  sight unseen from the outside of the
door.  These doors are then completely covered with sheet metal,  and the
doorknob is replaced with a keyhole and a steel handle to pull the door open.
One door on computer labs will be completely covered with sheet metal and can
only be opened from the inside of the room (for more information on Computer
Lab security,  see Part VI).

E.  Non-panic Bolt Double Doors

     Some double doors will have a doorknob or a handle on one door that is
used to open them.  The locks on these doors is identical to normal classroom
doors.  Please refer to Part C for information on these locks.

                          [- Part II: Opening Doors -]

A.  Keys

     Obviously,  the easiest way to open doors would be with keys,  but just
as obvious it is not too easy to come across a copy of school keys.  One way
to obtain school keys would be to mug a member of the faculty when nobody is
around,  but that has it's consequences.  Another method would be to always
be on the look-out for misplaced keys.  If you see a key or a set of keys
sitting somewhere that are easy to get at and you are sure nobody is watching
then take them,  but this will most likely cause alarm among the faculty and

     A safe way to get school keys is through the use of key codes.  Key
codes are codes set into the bow (the head) of keys which tell a locksmith
how to duplicate a key should a person lose a key and need to get another.
If a teacher was to ever give you his keys to run an errand for him then that
would be your golden opportunity.  Look at the bow of the key and write down
(or memorize) the code.  A code will always consist of a letter or letters
followed by several numbers.  The letters are the key's series and the
numbers are the key's record number (or sometimes,  the actual key code).  A
locksmith will cross-reference both the series and the record number in a
codebook and come up with the actual key code,  which is information in the
form of digits representing each individual cut on the key.  The code will
not always be stamped onto the key,  and some other number that has nothing
to do with the key itself may be on it instead,  such as the school's
identification number.  A good way to determine if the code is a valid key
code or not is to count the number of cuts in the key.  If the number of cuts
corresponds with the number of digits in the code then you can be pretty sure
that you have the key code.  The next step is finding a locksmith who will
cut the key for you.  Most will tell you that they need the key in order to
make a duplicate from code because anyone can see a code on a key and ask to
have a copy made of it (now who would do a thing like that?).  Visit every
locksmith you can find and you may get lucky.  Always have an alibi in mind
should the locksmith question you about the codes.  If he asks what the keys
are for say that they're for your dad's workshop or your employer told you to
get them cut,  or say that you lost your keyring with all your keys on it but
kept a record of their codes.  Sometimes,  the locksmith's codebook will tell
the locksmith that certain keys are "restricted",  meaning he is not allowed
to duplicate them.  This may be the case with school keys since schools order
their locks directly from the lock manufacturers and may request that the key
codes be listed as "restricted" in codebooks,  or not printed at all.

     Another less fruitful way of getting school duplicates is to have a glob
of clay or putty handy if you have access to school keys often.  Out of view
from anyone around you,  press the key into the clay until you have a good
impression.  Jot down the name of the key somewhere or memorize it and then
put the clay in a safe place (ie. not in your pocket where it can get
smushed).  Next,  you either have to find a locksmith who will make a copy of
the key from the clay (slim chance) or try to make the copy yourself.  To
obtain a key blank you should find a locksmith that will sell you one or you
can just go to a hardware store where they will sell you one with no
questions asked.  Then you can measure the depth of the cuts in the
impression and try to file the blank to match the cuts.  As you can tell this
method wouldn't be worth most of the effort since the key might end up not

     If you have access to a key for long periods of time then you may want
to plan on bringing a key calliper to school one day.  This is a precision
instrument used by locksmiths to measure the depths of the cuts in a key.
Out of sight of anyone around you,  measure each cut in the key and write it
down.  Then obtain a key blank of the desired key and file the cuts into it
by referring to the measurements you made.  A problem with this is getting
the cuts spaced evenly.  You could combine this method with the clay
impression method to overcome this obstacle.

     A note about school keys:  They will almost always have the words "DO
NOT DUPLICATE" stamped on them in case an unauthorized person tries to make a
copy of one.  When a locksmith sees this,  he will refuse to duplicate it.

B. The Coat Hanger Key

     A very simple and practical way of opening locked panic bolt doors is
through the use of a wire coat hanger.  Get yourself a thin wire coat hanger
and cut the bottom part of the hanger about an inch from where it is bent on
one side.  Then unwind the coat hanger at the hook (See figure 1.1).  Make
sure you cut the side that is connected to the hook because you need as much
of the coat hanger as possible for grip.  Straighten the wire out between the
hanger hook and the hook that was created from you cutting the hanger.  Bend
the part that you cut so that it makes a square hook (See figure 1.2).  From
the top of this hook,  measure down four and a half inches and make a 45
degree angle bend,  making sure that it is straight with the square hook.
Bend it so that the distance from the inside of the square hook to the long,
vertical side of the hanger is three inches.  Make sure you have five inches
of wire between this bend and the round hook (See figure 1.3).  This
procedure,  no doubt,  has probably got you thoroughly confused,  so please
refer to the diagrams for a visual reference.  What you are trying to do is
shape the coat hanger so that it can be slipped into the space between the
double doors, turned, and then slid down and hooked onto the panic bolt.
Once this is accomplished,  a sharp pull on the coat hanger should cause the
bar to be pulled towards the door (as if someone pushed on it) resulting in
the door opening.  As explained in part II, section A,  the bolt sticks out
five inches from the door and is three inches in from the inner side of the
door,  so that is why the hanger is bent as explained above.  When inserted
between the doors,  it will be fives inches into the door and three inches
inward,  aligned with the bar.  This simple contraption will gain you access
to most halls, gyms, auditoriums, and some libraries.  Keep in mind that the
coat hanger may not be thin enough to fit in between the doors,  either
because the doors are too close together or because a strip of metal is
riveted down the inner side of both of the doors,  making the space between
the doors very small.  Please refer to part II,  section A for more
information about these doors.

    _________________________________     __________     __________________
   |               __                |   |    __    |   |      __          |
   |              /  \               |   |   /  \   |   |     /  \         |
   |             '    |              |   |  '    |  |   |    '    | ^      |
   |                 /               |   |       |  |   |         | |      |
   |                |<-- UNWIND      |   |       |  |   |         |5in.    |
   |       __--~~~~~~~~~~~--__       |   |       |  |   |         | |      |
   |   __--                   --__   |   |       |  |   |  <-3in->| v      |
   |  (___________________________)  |   |       |  |   |        /         |
   |                            ^    |   |       |  |   |       /          |
   |                            |    |   |    |__|  |   |      / <- 4.5in. |
   |                        CUT HERE |   |    hook  |   |  /__/            |
   |_________________________________|   |__________|   |__________________|
               Figure 1.1                 Figure 1.2         Figure 1.3

     A problem sometimes arises when using the coat hanger key.  Sometimes
you may pull on the hanger and find it requires much effort,  and the hook
even tweaks out and comes screeching through the door.  There are two
possible reasons.  The first,  and most aggravating,  is that you don't have
the hanger hooked onto the bar,  but instead onto another part of the panic
bolt mechanism.  It may seem like it is,  but it's not.  To make sure you
have the hanger hooked around the bar,  you should insert the hanger into the
door,  turn it so that the hook is sticking straight into the door,  and then
push the hanger in far enough so that it is about five inches into the door.
Then slide the hanger down until you feel it catch.  When you attempt to open
the door,  don't pull the hanger straight out;  pull it down a little as you
pull out so that it doesn't slip off of the bar.  If you still have
difficulty opening the door,  then chances are the door is just very sturdy.
Try to push on the door so that when you pull on the hanger,  it doesn't pull
the door out causing the lock bolts to jam against the jamb.  This trick can
be mastered with a moderate amount of practice,  but you will always come
apon a stubborn door once in a while.  If you just can't get it to work on a
certain entrance then try the next variation of the coat hanger key before
you think about giving up.

     A sturdier version of the coat hanger key can be fashioned which will
work better on sturdy doors.  Simply follow the procedure for creating the
coat hanger key,  but perform all of the instructions    ___________________
on both sides of the hanger.  Cut the bottom of the     |      __           |
coat hanger off leaving an inch on both ends,  or       |     /  \          |
better yet,  get a coat hanger with a cardboard dowel   |    '    |         |
bottom and remove the dowel,  which will leave perfect  |         |         |
hooks on both ends of the hanger.  After following the  |         |         |
directions for the standard coat hanger key,  bring     |         |         |
the two hooks together so that the hanger looks like a  |         |         |
"Y" (See figure 2.1).  To use the double-sided coat     |        / \        |
hanger key,  insert it between the doors as described   |       /   \       |
and hook it around both bars (the bar on each door).    |      /     \      |
This gives you greater leverage.  Now when you pull on  |  /__/       \__\  |
the hanger,  the weaker bar of the two will give way    |___________________|
and the door will open.                                      Figure 2.1

C.  The Screwdriver & Crowbar Key

     The mechanism that obviously keeps a door locked is the bolt.  When an
unlocked doorknob is turned,  the bolt is withdrawn from the strike (the hole
in the door frame) and pulled into the door,  allowing the door to be opened.
It is possible to push the bolt into the door with a screwdriver (or other
similar, thin object) but only to a certain depth due to a mechanism on the
bolt which restricts it from being pushed in all the way when the door is
locked.  The bolt stops just short of allowing the door to be opened,  so
that is where the crowbar comes in.  If the space between the door and the
frame is wide enough,  you can insert the crowbar and pry the door away from
the frame,  thereby compensating for the bolt not being fully withdrawn into
the door,  and allowing the door to be opened with a yank on the doorknob.
This method is nearly sure-fire if the space between the door and the frame
is wide enough to begin with.  The only problem is that it takes at least
three people to perform with ease (one to work the bolt, one to pry the door,
and one to give a pull),  and two with minor difficulty.  It could be
accomplished by one person,  but it would require much practice.

D.  The Magnet & Elastic Cord Key

     Another method for opening classroom doors that I have devised,  but
have yet to actually put into practice,  is the Magnet and Elastic Cord
method.  This involves the use of an extremely powerful magnet and an elastic
cord of some type at least seven feet in length and fairly light-weight.  The
idea is to attach something highly magnetic to the end of the cord and slip
it under the door you are trying to gain access to.  Using the magnet,
attract the metallic object through the door and slide it up and over the
doorknob on the inside.  Then bring it back down and under the door.  Now,
hold one end of the cord while you pull on the other.  If the friction
against the door is not too great and does not hold the cord and make it
stretch,  the cord should grab the stem of the doorknob on the inside and
turn the doorknob (since the knob on the inside of classroom doors don't
lock),  thereby opening the door.

     Obviously,  to successfully attempt this method,  a magnet must be
obtained which is powerful enough to attract through at least one and one
half inches of solid wood.  A magnet this powerful would most likely have to
be very large,  and may not make this method feasible.  If you would like to
attempt this method,  which I would classify as a "last ditch effort",  then
let your fingers do the walking and look through the yellow pages for a
magnet manufacturer.  One such company that caters to the public is the
Dowling-Miner Magnetic Corporation in Sonoma, California,  located at 21707
8th Street East.  Their phone number is 800-MAGNET-1 (800-624-6381).  Give
them a call and tell them the size of the magnet you want.  They will cut it
and ship it out to you C.O.D.  I ordered a 2x4x1.5 inch ceramic magnet from
them which cost me close to $30,  shipping and handling included,  so I was
fairly disappointed when I discovered that it was barely able to pass through
my hollow bedroom door.

                   [- Part III: General Window Information -]

     Since about 99% of my entrance techniques involved doors,  I don't have
much detailed information on windows.  Although I do present some methods of
entrance via windows,  they are mainly ideas that I formulated,  because I
can recall only one occasion on which I used a window to enter a classroom.

     The majority of windows on LAUSD school buildings are either the
sideways sliding type or the vertical sliding type.  The lock on the sideways
sliding type is like any in a home.  It consists of a handle in the middle of
the window,  halfway up the height of the window,  that you grab and pull
outward,  thus pulling the handle out of a groove that prevents the window
from being slid open.

     Vertical sliding windows are more commonly encountered in Valley LAUSD
schools.  They have a latch lock on top of the bottom pane that must be
lifted up in order for the window to open.

                         [- Part IV: Opening Windows -]

     Windows are the most vulnerable entrances to school buildings because
they can be broken with minimal effort.  While this is a risky way to gain
entrance because it is noisy and leaves indisputable evidence of a break-in,
none-the-less,  it may be the only way to gain entrance to a particular room
or building.  Do keep in mind,  though,  that gaining entrance to buildings
via doors is highly recommended over the window method.

A.  Breaking Windows

     Quite obviously,  breaking a window can give one easy access to a room.
I have never come across any windows with alarm systems hooked up to them so
it is not worth worrying about triggering an alarm by breaking a window,  but
it could never hurt to check for one.  One way to reduce the noise in this
method of entrance would be to tape the window up with either duct or masking
tape.  This will muffle the sound of the blow given to the window and will
prevent shards of glass from flying every which way.  If you are going to
break a window,  make sure that you are deep within the school,  away from
nearby homes,  so that it can't be heard.  I have never used this method
because it is a cheap and boring way in,  and besides,  would leave evidence
that there had been a break-in which I don't want because it would cause
alarm among the faculty and hinder further attempts at gaining access to the

B.  The Screwdriver Pry Method

     This method is designed for the sideways sliding windows.  Obtain a
screwdriver or other long, flat object,  and insert it in the gap where the
two windows meet,  halfway in between the height of the window (ie. where the
handle is).  Pull outward on the screwdriver (thus,  pushing the handle out
of the groove),  and slide the window open.

C.  The Up/Down Method

     This method is designed for the vertical sliding windows.  In order for
this method to work,  there must either be an instance where the latch on the
window was only pulled down part-way,  or a bit of indiscreet activity on
your part (explained later).  If you are lucky enough to find a window with
the latch in such a condition,  then opening it may be only a matter of
minutes.  Pull down on the top half of the window while pushing the bottom
half up,  then reverse the direction,  pushing the top half of the window up
while pushing the bottom half down.  Repeat this process while watching the
latch to see if it is inching its way up (and thus,  unlocking the window).
This worked quite nicely for me on one occasion.

                      [- Part V: Discreet Infiltration -]

     If none of this manual has helped you in anyway thus far,  you may want
to employ the practice of discreet infiltration.  An example of discreet
infiltration would be to unlock a window during or at the end of class when
nobody is looking,  and then closing the blinds so that nobody will notice
that it is unlocked.  The success of this method will mainly depend on the
habits of the teacher and janitors.  If the teacher is used to checking that
every window is locked before he or she leaves,  then he/she is most likely
going to find the unlocked window and lock it.  If the teacher does not check
the windows,  chances are that the janitor who cleans the classroom at the
end of every day will.  They are supposed to check all the windows to make
sure the teacher didn't forget to lock them.

     Another example would be to stuff the door jamb with paper,  or jam the
bolt with something,  such as a wad of paper or a pencil.  This should be
done on a door which is not accessed a lot.  The doorknob may also be jammed
from the inside by turning the knob as if you are opening the door,  then
winding some tape around the stem of the doorknob (preferably see-through) so
that it sticks in the open position.

     Discreet infiltration should be performed preferably in the last class
of the day,  when everyone goes home and the windows and doors are not likely
to be tampered with for the rest of the day.  You can then use your
prearrangements when nightfall comes to enter the room or hallway you fixed.

     Remember that the keyword here is "discreet".  Let no one see you
unlocking windows or doing strange things to doors or you will most likely be
confronted by a teacher about it,  as they don't particularly take kindly to
would-be student theives,  no matter how much the teacher admires you.

                     [- Part VI: Computer Room Security -]

     The computer room,  as we all know,  contains what we would all love to
make off with.  The security instituted on computer rooms,  though,  aptly
prevents anyone from doing so,  at least for the truly novice,  of which most
of us are.  In this section,  I will mainly discuss what devices are employed
in computer labs in order to fend off possible break-ins.

A.  Doors

     For  va-
nish off the ship before the entity disappears.  But later, she reappears in
their quarters again, this time in an unusual duplicate of Jeremy's home crea-
ted in that room to fool him into trusting her.  The entity is actually a rem-
nant of the Koinonians, now energy beings who look upon their earlier tragedy 
with irony and now wish to help Jeremy by taking care of him after his loss
which they feel guilty about.  "Marla" takes Jeremy once again but is stopped
by force fields and a philosophical Picard, who informs her that sorrow is a
necessary part of human nature, and it is something he will have to face --
with his own kind.  Jeremy is finally convinced when Wesley gives in and talks
to him, informing Picard that the anger he felt was toward the Captain for
coming back when Jack Crusher did not; Worf asks Jeremy to let him help in dea-
ling with the pain he feels toward him.  The Koinonian leaves, taking the illu-
sion of the home with it, and Jeremy and Worf are left to the R'uustal, where
they become brothers....and both families, now joined, are stronger.
 == Michael Piller became the newest Co-Executive Producer with this episode.


"BOOBY TRAP"                                                  Episode #6 (#54)
Premiere: Week of 10/30/89                                    Stardate 43205.6
Paramount Coding: Episode 154

Story:                               Guest Stars:
  Michael Wagner and Ron Roman         Susan Gibney - Dr. Leah Brahms
Teleplay:                              Colm Meaney - Chief O'Brien
  Ron Roman and Michael Piller &       Albert Hall - Galek Dar
  Richard Danus                        Julie Warner - Christy
Director:                            Special Guest Star:
  Gabrielle Beaumont                   Whoopi Goldberg - Guinan
  Ron Jones

SUMMARY: The Enterprise has entered the Orelius Nine asteroid belt, created 
by the remains of a planet destroyed in the wa

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