Memoirs of a Safe-breaker


Shifty Burke


Arthur Barker, London, 1966

Printing Details

First edition, first printing. Hardback in dustwrapper. 20.5 × 13.5cm, 192pp.

This is the life story of a 'peterman' (safe-blower) who also took part in other crimes, including the abortive London Airport bullion raid. Shifty was born in 1921 of a respectable working-class family in Mitcham, London and did his first 'job' at the age of 12. He eventually met a real 'pro' who took him under his wing and taught him the ropes. Their first job was blowing the safe of a cinema. He tells how he got to know other people in the game and writes in fascinating detail of the way the jobs were organised under the general direction of the Big Boss, who parcelled out the various expertly 'cased' jobs. This book contains a glossary, including "blowing job" (opening a safe with explosives), "on the bash" (practising prostitution) and "inky smudge" (judge).


The book is in very good condition, the dustwrapper has light edgewear but has not been price-clipped.



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