Forensic locksmithing methodology determining the last key used in a reported stolen vehicle is a complete fraud! A scam used by insurance companies to warrant the investigation of the insured for insurance fraud. When the fact is the investigator relies on a fraud to accuse the insured of fraud! The courts are being defrauded for over a decade!…
https://www.consumerreports.org/car-recalls-defects/takata-airbag-recall-everything-you-need-to-know/ It appears as though, far too many consumers are taking a very life-threatening recall campaign for their vehicle too lightly and are not doing what they need to do.…
Having spent over 20 years as a rebuttal expert has been a great amount of fun, but there have been disappointments.
I never underestimated the opposition. Never!
I found the disappointment was due to the opposing expert. I would review the file. I would review the Certified Forensic Locksmith report, or engineer’s report and would find ambiguous language, speculation stated as fact. I had one report that stated “If I could have found the ignition lock, the dent puller with a broken bolt, May have been used to force the lock out of the dash.” This report was used in a criminal case!
The only facts this expert could attest to was that the car was reported stolen and recovered burned. He could not find the remains to the ignition. He found a dent puller in the vehicle. He then went on to state he or the business he worked for was not aware of any method to defeat the GM PK III with the ignition ripped out of the dash. Well, unfortunately for my client, the ignorance of this expert got him charged with insurance fraud and other felonies.
Many know the PK III is antiquated, designed about 1994 and is easy to bypass. This expert however was not aware of this fact. Since he could not find the ignition, he had no idea if it was attached to the dash. It could have suffered fire damage, melted, dropping the remains in the burn debris on the driver’s floor. We don’t know if that dent puller was in that vehicle at the time of the fire. It could have been in another vehicle and tossed inside the insured’s vehicle. Here was an expert claiming to have performed a forensic examination, and all his facts were either he used speculation as fact, and demonstrated his ignorance on the anti-theft transponder system.
When I testified, I gave about 6 different ways the vehicle could be stolen. I even had video to support my testimony.
The expert was inside the court room when I testified. I was told he didn’t agree with me, but as I said, I had video. Every way I addressed to steal that vehicle would not be picked up by forensics because of the fire.
when I was finished testifying, I sat in for the rest of the trial. The closing statement from the attorney was based on my testimony.
The prosecutor argued, but to no avail.
My client was acquitted of all charges.
The point of all of this is everytime I have gone up against a Certified Forensic Locksmith that authored a report for an insurance company on a reported stolen vehicle, there have always been problems on their side.
They know using the Certified Forensic Locksmith title, the jury will assume they are like the CSI people on TV. The jury will imagine their capabilities are DNA recovery and the like. They envision this expert as actually being able to determine the last key used (which they don’t) but they are the expert and no one in the court knows what they are telling them, other than accusing the insured of having the last key used.
I am disliked because I expose them.
I do everything possible to prove their unprovable theories. I have learned over 20 years of studying, testing,writing about testing procedures for peer review, working with tool mark experts, chemists, metallurgists from across the globe, I don’t claim to have all the answers. However, it appears I know a lot more than the experts I oppose.
In fact, there are a couple that take it personal.
One expert flat out lied to a judge about me! He didn’t appreciate me making him look like a fool in many cases.
To demonstrate his superior aptitude on auto theft, he examined a stolen recovered burned Yukon. He stated the ignition lock suffered from blunt force trauma and was last rotated with the insured’s key. He stated there was no signs of stripping.
The client attorney was very concerned with the blunt force trauma statement. We set up a meeting at the auto auction for me to inspect the vehicle. Present were the attorneys, the expert, the insurance investigator and myself.
I looked at the vehicle and did not spend much time. He stated no stripping, yet there were no steel seat frames. No plastic trim panels melted. The seats had obviously been unbolted and the interior had been stripped before the fire. I was absolutely amazed he missed this. It was very obvious! I supplied my report and the insurance company settled immediately!
This was the same expert in a California trial that said a vehicle was last driven with a key of the proper type.
I cut some keys that were visibly different than the owner’s key. 4 different keys to be exact and then I coded the lock to match the vehicle in question.
The lock and keys were passed around to the jury. Then the question was; which of the keys were of the proper type?
The jury believed me and the case cost Farmers $375,000.
There is another CFL that didn’t like losing, and illustrated what a professional he isn’t and that will be for another post.
Anyone needing my services, my name is Rob Painter. Phone numbers are 1-866-490-1673 or cell 1-903-513-7808. My email is robo14@AOL.com and I work anywhere in the US.
Lesson of the Day-Evidence and Evidence Retention for Chain of Custody
Unfortunately, the field of Forensic locksmithing is rife with incompetence.
Why is this important to you? There are many reasons and they will be outlined in this post. In fact, this could make a substantial difference in your life if you are the unfortunate victim of an auto theft.
Insurance investigators have been taught (wrongly) that today’s vehicles with anti-theft transponder systems are impossible to steal without the owner’s key.
You vehicle is stolen, and you inform your insurance company. Immediately, from the time of the report, they are not going to investigate the matter as a theft, but as a fraud!
You will go through the investigation stage figuring that since you had nothing to do with the theft, they eventually will settle the claim. You would be wrong! You also assume as long as you are honest through the questions and into the examination under oath or recorded statement, everything will be fine. Again, you would be wrong!
In the begining from the time the vehicle is recovered if recovered, the investigator uses the vendor list and seeks out what they refer to be an “independent” Certified forensic locksmith, an engineer or whoever is on the list that performs ignition analysis. They are independent only because they are not direct employees of the insurance company. They have a vested interest in the outcome of the claim. If they don’t write favorable reports for the carrier they ate not needed and the carrier will go elsewhere.
The insured is never told they can have their own expert present to keep everyone honest.
This faceless forensic expert concludes the last key used was of the proper type. This insinuates that you were the last to drive the vehicle before true theft. By the way, you will very rarely get to see this expert’s report unless the case is in litigation. Once the report is written, the investigator uses t
Heir imagination and builds a financial motive as to why you needed to get rid of the vehicle. None of it has to be true. It only needs to appear to be true, which is the flimsy standard of preponderance. This is enough to have the claim denied!
The only recourse is to sue the insurance company and hope a hurt believes your side. You will also need to retain an expert such as myself to refute their expert that determined the vehicle was last driven with a key of the proper type.
Now, that is the civil end. Lets say you are in California or New Jersey, Massachusetts or other regions that look at such claims as insurance fraud-felonies? You now have a real problem! You either need a criminal defense attorney, which ranges from $10,000-$25,000 to defend in Los Angeles.
If you dont have sufficient income, you will get either a court appointed attorney and the state or county has funds to cover an expert, or a public defender and again, depending on region may have funds for an expert or may not. Your chances with a public defender generally are not good. They are over worked and would prefer you just take a plea!
Now, we have gotten to the evidence issue and it a big one!
When the expert examines the vehicle, he will examine the ignition. It used to be before they got lazy, and I can prove in the past, they did much more thorough work nation wide, but evidently the attitude now is that no one knows the difference anyway. Why spend hours when an exam now can take minutes all for the same money or more?
The forensic examinations were much more detailed, accurate and leaving little doubt. The ignition was removed, disassembled. The internal components the wafers (tumblers) were subjected to a microscopic examination. Micro photos were taken of wear and markings. Keys were compared to the wafers for identifiable markings.
Since the real work was phased out and a dog and pony show were presented to the court as forensic, this created many issues. No longer was evidence removed from non-burned vehicles. The ignition was left in the vehicle. The show that was now the norm was to insert a lighted magnified scope in the ignition keyway. No photographs were taken. Key comparison to the wafers could no longer be performed. All one could do is look inward to the lock. If the lock was picked and markings were on the back side of the wafers, they could not be seen.
The keyway commonly was filled with lock lubricant and pocket lint, dust and dirt. These experts would put WD 40 in the keyway to clean it and insert a key. Now, you are using an abrasive in the lock potentially9 creating new marks. WD 40. What does it do? Penetrates!
Why the difference in protocol? No longer were the experts stating they cpuld determine the last key used. They state that a key of the proper type was used. The difference: One does not need to be a forensic expert to state this! It’s a scam! Used on the court system because they don’t know any better!
When the key of the proper type is stated, it doesn’t tell us If it was the insured’s first key, second key or even a thief’s key! There is no differention or specifics. The report relies on the assumption by the investigator and by the court the last key used was the insured’s!
What does the expert have for evidence when testifying? The ignition lock or components? Nope!
Does he have documented proof that he electronically interrogated the transponder anti-theft system to confirm it was functioning properly? Nope! Can it be proven the anti-theft transposed system had how many keys programmed for it? Nope!
In fact, the criminal cases do not have anymore physical evidence than a civil case even though the criminal threshold is beyond any reasonable doubt! Onie might even say WTF?
It gets even better! The vehicle is commonly disposed of years before!
Normally, how is a defense expert to defend a case where the insurance expert had the opportunity to examine all facets to the vehicle and the defense expert is left with nothing?
They screw up so many other ways, I can refute them based on my experience. However, everyone is just supposed to take the insurance expert’s word for it. My question which is legitimate, why?
If one is dealing with a criminal case and the expert does not know which will go criminal, the standard for gathering and retention of evidence must be the same on every vehicle.
A criminal case means a crime scene! Every component requiring testimony needs to be secured. Yet, we have these so called experts that get away testifying on evidence they do not even have, nor did they retain it for the defense!
There are many that have been convicted just on the expert’s word without having physical evidence to support their testimony!
Now, I ask you, how would you feel to be railroaded like this j because the insurance company did not want to pay your theft claim?
I am not blaming insurance companies. I am blaming these experts that know they are running a scam. I am blaming ignorant prosecutors trying to make a name for themselves.