Kevin Mitnick's secret weapon for avoiding jail

While escape tool is mostly for laughs, it could come in handy if he is ever kidnapped in South America or Mexico, he says.

Is Kevin Mitnick saying "don't shoot?" No. He's just showing off a bracelet that doubles as a handcuff lock pick.
Is Kevin Mitnick saying "don't shoot?" No. He's just showing off a bracelet that doubles as a handcuff lock pick. James Martin/CNET

Famed hacker Kevin Mitnick has seen enough of the inside of a jail to know he never wants to go back. Now there's a backup plan in case he ever finds himself arrested again--a bracelet that has a lock-pick tool for handcuffs.

The bracelet looks like a geeky version of a thick woven hippie bracelet. But hidden inside the clasp is the secret tool that slips inside the lock of handcuffs and opens them. They are $17 on Sally's Cop Shop.

Of course, Mitnick isn't wearing the accessory with any expectation that he will ever be arrested--he's a security consultant, speaker and author (his memoir, "Ghost in the Wires," came out last year and is a fun read). For him the bracelet is mostly a novelty and a bit of an inside joke, much like the version of his business card that doubles as an aluminum lock-pick kit. Plus he likes the "Harry Houdini" aspect of it, having been fascinated with magic since he was a child.

"I show it to cops. It's a conversational piece," he said of the bracelet in a recent interview.

But, the item also could genuinely come in handy one day.

"I travel to South America, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and we have warnings from the State Department about kidnappings going on, especially in Caracas," he said. "If I'm kidnapped for some reason it would be great to be able to escape if they handcuff you. That's why I wear it to South America all the time."

The universal handcuff lock-pick key is hidden inside the clasp.
The universal handcuff lock-pick key is hidden inside the clasp. James Martin/CNET

 

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