pick a lock

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pick a lock

To open a lock by manipulating it with tools other than a key. It's very handy having someone who can pick a lock on the team. He picked the lock on his cell using nothing more than a paperclip.
See also: lock, pick

pick a lock

to open a lock without using a key. The robber picked the lock with a nail file. The thief picked the lock on the safe and stole the money.
See also: lock, pick

pick a ˈlock

open a lock without a key, using something such as a piece of wire: I can’t find my front door key. I don’t suppose you know how to pick a lock, do you?
See also: lock, pick
References in classic literature ?
A hundred times in my boyhood days had I picked locks with a buttonhook.
w/ picked locks. And my grandmother's opal ring that became a
"Ken Auletta, the author of this absorbing, shaggy, name-droppy book, doesn't seem to like either of them much--he says that Page has a 'Kermit the Frog' voice, which isn't nice, while Brin comes off as a swaggering, efficiency-obsessed overachiever who, at Stanford, aced tests, picked locks, 'borrowed' computer equipment from the loading dock and once renumbered all the rooms in the computer science building.
The thieves are not garden-variety; they used tools to cut their way in from the roof and picked locks, suggesting a certain amount of professional skill.
And in former Pontypridd team-mates Brent Cockbain and Robert Sidoli he has picked locks to compete at the lineout, which is generally perceived as the New Zealanders' one major weakness.
A growing problem in Japan centers on the increased number of incidents of picked locks.