Bernie Lee
I was born in Eastham in East London
Shipped to an orphanage when I was a couple of years of age
I left the orphanage when I was about fourteen and a half, 
done approve school and Borstal
My first time in approve school, I learned over 23 ways to nick a car
I started stealing cars to order 
and while I was in prison I learned how to open a safe
The earlier types of safes were called fire boxes, 
used to get a press on the back of them, you know, like a big wine press
We used to tighten up the presses until the back breaks, 
that was the old fire boxes
Then they became a bit more proper, they started putting concrete in between the skins of the wall, so I learned about nitro.
Nitro's easy. I was the first man in London to use it. 
Made the nitro myself. I loved nitro, nitro's easy
The hardest safe I've ever done was a Mowser, 5 tumbler, 
6 leaver job, it took 3 1/2 hours to do,
I used to study drawings of the safes, You got a dial on the front of the safe
A lot of safes are keys still but like there are some that are dials
You listen for the tumblers to click in and the bolts to drop
Cause in a safe you've usually got in between three and twelve tumblers,
You blow the right hand lock first, then the left-hand lock,
Because the left-hand lock was a dummy, it was just an alarm,
We drilled it in all the right places, diamond tipped drills we used 
And I went through four of them on that one safe
We put the nitro in, walked around the corridor, spun the battery and blew it.
Then you go at the tumblers with your stethoscope, 
you can feel the numbers then dropping in on the combination
And that's what releases your bolts, either side, top and bottom of the doors and then spin the dial And you just spin it open, and out she comes, 
she's open then, you can't rush the job that I used to do,
Before I opened up the safe, I was always like twenty or thirty minutes 
like in front of it looking at the safe,
Just setting myself at ease, and psyching myself out, if you like
If you rush it, and you make one mistake, you either got to start again 
or get up, admit defeat and walk away from it.
I've been a thief, I've been a hijacker, I've been a mercenary, 
I've been a safe breaker,
I did that game for about fifteen or twenty years mucking 
around with safes and that,
And then I just quit.
If I'd put so much energy into going straight, as what I did crooked, I'd have been a multi-millionaire now myself
You can't go on forever thinking that crime pays, cause crime don't pay
The only thing I miss about it all, is working with the nitro,
I love nitro, nitro's easy, nitro's easy.
If you carry a gun and something happens you're more than likely to pull out the gun and use it.
If you carry a knife when you're losing a fight you'd pull it out and stab him
If you carry a duster you'd pull it out and break their jaw and knock him out.




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