Sydney was once infested by safebreakers. Some were sophisticated specialists like Richard Reynolds, who used the latest technology to crack safes. Others like Kong Lee had a more slap-dash approach – stuff the safe with explosives and hope the neighbours don’t complain about the noise when it blows.

Investigating safebreaks was an everyday occurrence for police. Legendary undercover policeman Frank ‘the Shadow’ Fahy  used his superior surveillance skills to foil many safebreaking plots. He was so successful at blending in with criminals that he was regularly arrested by cops who were unaware of his true identity.

In the Breakers display you will see the tools confiscated from safebreakers, hear a policeman talk about his experience investigating  safebreaking during the 1950s and see the remarkable story of Sydney’s safebreakers as captured in the NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive.