Stephen Mills was visiting a museum in Alberta, Canada, last month when he cracked the long-locked safe

By Matt McNulty
June 07, 2019 11:04 AM
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Credit: Chris Stead

He cracked the case!

A Canadian tourist who was visiting a museum in Alberta last month unlocked an old safe that hadn’t been cracked in 40 years, according to CNN.

Stephen Mills was on a camping trip with his family when they decided to visit the Vermilion Heritage Museum, which had a locked safe stored away in its basement. According to CNN, the museum has long tried to open the safe, hiring blacksmiths and even calling the manufacturer.

It was to no avail — until Mills gave it a shot.

“We wanted to check out what the community has to offer,” said Mills. “The museum was actually closed on the day we were there, but we managed to track down one of the volunteers, Tom Kibblewhite, who opened it for us and showed us around.”

Stephen Mills
| Credit: Chris Stead

The tour of the museum included the basement, where the volunteer showed him the perplexing safe, which originally belonged to the nearby Brunswick Hotel.

“It was like a time capsule, nobody had any idea of what was in there,” Mills told CNN.

Mills said he put his ear to the safe “like you see in the movies” and studied the numbering on it before giving it a try.

“I looked at the dial and I saw the numbers were running from 0 to 60. So I thought in my head 20-40-60. I did a particular combination which is three on the right, two on the left, and 1 on the right, tried the handle … and it opened,” he recounted to the outlet, noting “it was a 100% guess.”

“I was fully amazed. I stepped back a little bit and thought ‘I’m buying a lottery ticket tonight,’ ” he said.

According to the BBC, the safe only contained an old pay sheet and part of a restaurant order pad from the late 1970s.