When You Will Accept Nothing Short of the Best!
Court Appointed Expert Witness
Court Appointed Umpire
Auto Theft Claims Master
Do not let the name fool you! Auto theft claims investigations have given me laser focus because of the incompetence ànd ineptitude, in my opinion of the so-called forensic locksmiths the carrier’s use as experts to determine a reported stolen car was last driven, with what is inferred to be the insured’s key or key fob.
Have they scientifically eliminated other amicable ways of theft before reaching their conclusion? No!
Auto Theft Claims Investigation is the only line insurance that operates in this highly questionable manner from my experience.
When an investigation is predicated on fraud, what could possibly go wrong? This is what happens when investigating a car theft and using a forensic locksmith to determine how the reported stolen car was last driven!
Consultant/Expert in these areas:
Vehicle Fire & Explosion
Vehicle Defect Analysis
Lemon Law Issues
Vehicle and Structure Security
Vehicle Component Failure Analysis
Firearms and Personal Protection
SIU Investigation Consultant/Expert
EUO Preparation Consultant/Expert
Former ASE Certified Auto, Collision, Med/Hvy Duty Truck Technician
Former Certified Forensic Locksmith
Former Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator
Former Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator
Auto Theft and Forensics Expert
Automotive Forensic Component Consultant/Expert Witness
Court Qualified Expert Witness in 21 states and in Federal Court in both Criminal and civil arenas
Vehicle Fire Instructor
Patented Inventor/Published Author
Courts Appointed Umpire
Our firm looks forward to taking assignments from insurance companies under one condition:
We tell it how it is to in our reports. We are completely impartial and give you only provable facts, supported methodology protocol. Unlike the current certified forensic locksmiths, engineers and mechanics assessing reported stolen vehicles to determine as to how they were last driven, we do not use pre-written cookie cutter reports. Every report is drafted individually for that specific vehicle!
We commonly use the nationally accepted NFPA 921 for our scientific methodology. Although geared for fire investigations, these principles from this manual are applied on every forensic examination.
The sad truth has been that certified forensic locksmith reporting, methodology and conclusions do not need to be accurate or provable if not contested. These conclusions can be ambiguous (which they commonly are) and are accepted as fact-based primarily on the bogus forensic title they apply to themselves as forensic experts. and the ignorance on the subject by others.
We challenge these forensic locksmith reports because they are not based on fact.
An example of the Star witness report in a criminal prosecution: Car recovered totally burned. Ignition not recovered. Dent puller found on driver’s floor with broken bolt attached. Car equipped with easily bypassed PK III transponder system. 2008 GM car.
Report read: If ignition had been recovered, we MAY have found broken bolt from dent puller in it. To or knowledge, if the ignition had been forcibly removed, the PASSLOCK III would have prevented the car from starting.
Unfortunately, out of thousands of certified forensic locksmith reports I have reviewed, most are just like this! No fact! All speculation deliberately meant to appear as fact. The investigator who knows nothing about auto theft relies on the expert and assumes that the insured was involved in the claim and launches an investigation.
This claim like most, should have never been prosecuted, but it is assumed because the expert is a certified forensic locksmith he is beyond question.
Lets break this down: The ignition was not recovered. So any mention of it other than that is not fact! It is total assumption on the part of that expert that the dent puller was even applied to the ignition. Yet, he renders the possibility it was. As for the PASSLOCK transponder system on that vehicle, it is pretty much common knowledge as to how to bypass it and unfortunately, because of the expert’s ignorance, my client was being charged with felonies. Of course, my client was acquitted and closing arguments were based on my testimony, but that is not the point! The point is my client’s family was broken apart on these bogus charges and the expert got paid for sub-standard work!
More than 90% of the prosecutions I have defended were just like this case!
Speculation, innuendo=Certified Forensic Locksmith! The strangest thing: No one has even checked and for over 5 years the IAIL (International Association of Investigative Locksmiths) the certifying organization has been non-existent! That kind of makes that title as bogs as the so-called expert!
Yet, when Plaintiff and criminal defense attorneys see that title, they get really anxious and question the honesty of their clients!
Stated as fact by these experts, they can determine if a newly-cut key had been recently used. This is not a fact but merely an opinion designed to appear as fact. This fact assumes that s newly cut key will have remaining burrs on the key blade where it was cut. The first musing depends on how the key was cut. If cut from a laser, there are no sharp edges. If cut on a key punch or a mill, like that used in a hardware store, the key blade edges will have sharp burrs. The burrs must be removed or when the key is put into the lock, the key commonly binds. Burrs are commonly buffed off with a grinding wheel or a file. The cleaner the key, the better the lock will operate. If the key still has burrs, new striations will be seen on the wafer (tumbler) lands (where the key rides when inserted into the lock). To make the statement that the use of a newly-cut key can always be determined is a deception for the purpose of deliberately misrepresenting fact.
If such an event occurs microscopic photos should be required because history with these forensic locksmiths cannot be taken by their word! This is supposed to be about science if they are operating under the forensic badge! For the past 10 years, these experts cut corners. No longer did they remove the ignition lock, disassemble and take microphotos of the internal lock components. We get no internal photos of the lock! We just get their subjective opinion of what they say they observed! Hey, if we can’t believe them on their forensic title, how can we believe anything else?
The only time you see such photos are from a burned vehicle where the lock blew apart during the fire and the wafers (tumblers) were recovered off the driver’s floor. Even at that, the wafers have a burned crust on them, just like the crust on a cookie pan. I still have yet to see where this crust is properly removed without destroying the evidence! That is the only way one can view striations under a microscope!
Any fire investigator is required to prove everything they say. Engineers are required to support their findings. Every scientist is as well!
Yet, the certified forensic locksmith almost never is questioned about their findings. In the event a totally destroyed vehicle by fire has the conclusion the vehicle was last operated with a key of the proper type, the investigator does not ask; “can you prove that?” Instead, the investigator would say: “He is the expert!”
Here is another interesting fact about forensic locksmiths: one fact is they have a vested interest in the outcome of the claim. Secondly, they have been allowed to perform forensic examinations on s vehicle with no expert representing the insured present to keep them honest! It is the only industry I have ever run across this!
Destructive testing is common. What that means is the evidence may have been altered and can never be put into it’s pre-examination condition! Even inserting a key into the lock alters the lock!
How do we know the evidence was not deliberately altered? We don’t. Since they have no problem being deceptive, why in the Hell would we believe them about anything? Investigators must, which they do not now, inform the insured that they can have their own expert present at the examination at their expense! They inform the insured they can retain an attorney at any time. Why not an expert? What is the insurance company hiding?
When doing potential recall examinations, nothing is touched until the manufacturer sends an engineer. In this event, the engineer and I are talking to each other but not sharing notes. I am present and he is present so we can perform destructive testing together. That is the correct way to perform a forensic examination on a recalled vehicle. It is also the correct way to examine a reported stolen vehicle!
Reported stolen vehicles are not automatically deemed criminal cases for felony insurance fraud. First the investigator refers the claim to the prosecutor and this may be months after a forensic lock examination was performed creating a real big problem for the prosecutor if opposing a good defense attorney.
The attorney can request the evidence gathered by the certified forensic locksmith for his expert to peer review. Oh oh, was not treated as a crime scene? No photographs from where and when vehicle was recovered? No evidence gathered? Now the attorney’s expert has no way of replicating the forensic testing purportedly applied by the prosecutor’s star witness.
About this time a good defense attorney motions for a dismissal. Note I state good attorney? It has all too common that missing evidence goes over the head of many attorneys. They don’t get it! They may be hung up on the imagined manufactured motive, which is a moot point if there is no evidence linking the defendant to the crime in the first place. Our policy is to treat every exam as if it were a criminal case using standardized investigative protocol! By using that standard all forensic examinations will hold up highly in civil and criminal reporting on the vehicle!
Currently, from my experience, fire damaged reported stolen vehicle criminal cases do not meet criminal standards and are based on civil preponderance. I do not claim to know anything about the law because I am not a lawyer, but I know the difference between (assumption, speculation an innuendo and making something sound like believable fact) ————-preponderance–and beyond any reasonable doubt, which is the criminal standard.
As rebuttal experts we are required to be accurate 100% of the time! Unlike the current Certified Forensuc Locksmiths and others generating reports on these reported stolen vehicles using speculation, and projection as fact for their conclusions, we only apply provable fact!
Insurance companies expect these examinations and reporting to be low cost and will commonly go to the lowest bidder. Their experts are not vetted by their peers. This is in our view short-sighted without the consideration they can be sued successfully for bad faith.
Another joke of deception: There are firms in which the boss signs off on the report as if peer reviewed. Who says the boss is qualified to do this because he has never put forth his methodology for peer review or supplied any error ratings? Basically, another smoke scree from the smoke and mirrors folk!
In a stolen vehicle claim is being investigated and the insured is told they are waiting on forensics, rest assured there is no forensics applied and forensics is in fact a fraud used for the purpose of doing an investigation to deny the claim!
There are many examples of which they pay heavily for these indiscretions. One example is the Missouri case in 2006 (Jenny Hampton v State Farm and on the web). The vehicle in question was an old Toyota with over 100,000 miles on it. It was reported stolen and recovered severely burned.
At the lot the vehicle was stored, the vehicle for whatever reason was set on the ground upside down with the top on the ground. This action displaced many of the burned ignition lock components. A State Farm rep gathered the burned ignition lock evidence and mailed the remains to their expert Mike Hearold from Liberty, MO. The expert based his conclusion on exactly half the ignition lock components because that was all that was located in this upside down burned Toyota.
Of course, the expert implicated the insured with the theft claiming it was last driven with a key of the proper type. The insured Jenny Hampton was not only denied on her theft claim, but she was also charged with felony insurance fraud! She was acquitted. I understand she sued NICB (National Insurance Crime Bureau), the district attorney for malicious prosecution and State Farm. Her attorney was Mike Radar in this Kansas City, MO case and I was serving as one of her experts. She and her brother prevailed and the jury verdict was for more than state statutes allowed on the compensatory portion. The jury also awarded her $8,000,000. The verdict was appealed. The judge awarded $8,000,000 on the appeal! State Farm said: “$8,000,000 for a car?” From my understanding, the judge told State Farm they were lucky it was only $8 million!
The true kicker is that one would think that State Farm would no longer use this vendor as an expert. It was business as usual and they continued to use his services afterward for years!
This example is one of many. When the carrier gets caught using inferior forensic services, their defense has been we didn’t know. They know and this is their way of facilitating fraud from the very beginning of the investigation!
These forensic locksmiths are not vetted for the credibility on these forensic exams and reporting. After over 20 years and in the court system opposing these experts I can say with 100% certainty that a majority of over 95% of the methodology and conclusions applied by these experts can be successfully refuted with the use of real forensics, common sense and fact!
The problem here is when fraudulent forensics is applied it clouds the ability to determine fraud on the part of the insured. It’s highly possible the insured has misrepresented the events of the theft. As I have said, ignorance as to the lack of scientific protocol not being applied has been what has gotten these experts to be believed. We educate the courts as to how for the last 20 years forensic locksmithing has been wrongly abused for the agenda to deny claims.
If performed properly forensic locksmithing can be a kill shot to the insured misrepresenting a claim! In it’s current state, it is easily proven the conclusions are based on personal net opinion that have no basis! In other e ok red from the CFL, “It’s that way because I say so!”
All we are doing is leveling the playing field and supplying only fact and truth.
We offer remote services which means that it is not only a safety issue, but saves money on time and travel. We have offered remote services across the US for over 5 years and it has been extremely successful.
We are in Texas, you have an assignment in Sacramento-no problem!
Services are listed in my CV page. Whether it is a theft, a vehicle fire, collision damage, a potential recall, a lemon law case, we can handle the forensic analysis of the vehicle.
Something different than many- if there is evidence, we retain it!
Our conclusions are scientifically verifiable. Something that current forensic locksmiths don’t offer!
For those insureds going through an SIU investigation or an EUO we are the only firm that offers nationwide defense for insured clients.
We offer our extensive experience with hundreds of hours giving sworn testimony in depositions and trial testimony.
We share that experience with the insured going through an SIU investigation or an examination under oath.
In the area of consulting, we are not limited to auto theft claims, but home owners and renters claims, marine claims and commercial truck claims
The most common question of me from clients is “How did you know they were going to ask me that? Experience!
We can script the insured for any questions pertaining to the claim! Have nothing to hide? Yes you do because what you say will be used against you.! 1-866-490-1673 or 1-903-513-7808
We are extremely successful getting claims settled when they were scheduled for denial.
We realize the investigator is only as good as the information they rely on from their vendors. If their forensic expert vendor does not supply accurate factual information (all the time) they believe the experts that the insured has misrepresented the claim. Hard for them to do an impartial investigation on the insured when their expert has already inferred directly or indirectly has accused the insured! Unfortunately this has happened across the US for the past 20 years!
Insureds- the insurance company is going to perform a forensic analysis on your vehicle. You are entitled to have your own expert present at the time of the exam! Insurance companies don’t tell insureds this and it can be crucial!
I have successfully refuted these expert reports during the investigation.
In fact, evidence that we have are reports from these experts that determined the vehicle was last driven with a key of the proper type. The problem–the vehicle was never recovered! Now, if they fabricate these reports, what else are they lying about?
Why were we blacklisted by carriers like Allstate, State Farm, Progressive etc?
The reason was quite simple. They claim they want impartial experts as long as one doesn’t ever take a claim against insurance companies. This does not mean just one carrier, but all the major players. They flock together.
In 1997 I took a case to defend the insured accused of having the last key used before the theft and subsequent fire. The claim was in Mississippi and I was based in Wisconsin. It was a Progressive claim. Now, I had nothing against Progressive or any large nationwide carrier. I just felt if they had an expert to accuse the insured, the insured had every right to have their own expert, but if insurance companies had their way, they would have the final say about the denial of the claim.
Well, it was proven their expert could not support his conclusions and the case settled for the insured.
The argument would be it is a business decision to settle these claims. They would not have settled if they thought they could prevail in court! They could not on this claim! The work by their expert was shoddy. He was used to getting past everyone’s eyes hiding behind the title of “Forensic Locksmith.” Without the scrutiny this title should have been subjected to, along with severely flawed methodology, the experts got away with deceiving the courts back then all the way to 2020!
Here is a fact: The organization (International Association fferedof Investigative Locksmiths) IAIL that offered the (Certified Forensic Locksmith) CFL designation has been defunct for over 5 years! In other words the title is bogus as the experts methodologies and conclusions!
There is a network nationwide of forensic locksmiths as they call themselves Certified Forensic Locksmiths when. In truth, the only forensics applied is to their title.
The process applied is smoke and mirrors. Fueled by ignorance of forensic locksmithing, assumption, speculation, projection is hearlded as fact by these charlatans!
Lawyers, juries, judges and investigators know nothing about theft methodology, forensic Locksmithing and determining as to how a reported stolen vehicle was last driven, they are left taking the word of the expert from his reporting. They have fallen prey to the experts!
The field is riddled with deception, but there has never been anyone pointing this fraud on their part out, other than my firm nationwide for two decades!
People are commonly denied on their claims and that’s great if it can be proven with scientific verifiability. The problem comes when my firm dare opposes these experts with not the projection and speculation they masquerade as fact, but I supply documented fact! I don’t want someone to take my word for it. I don’t make conclusions I can’t support!!
Here is a very valid point when refuting these insurance paid whores! I am right 100% of the time and they are not!
How can I be right 100% of the time refuting these experts?
Easy– Common sense, fact, truth is my defense! Every time I testify it appears to be a learning experience for everyone! See, my background is real. I have been involved in the repair of more than 10,000 theft recovered vehicles and thousands of fire no sic examinations! I have been very 20 years working with investigators. On auto theft I know far more past vehicle examinations, I know the whole investigation process!
When it comes to auto theft, there is not an area I haven’t been involved in: cloned cars, title washing, VIN switches, trap cars, any type of theft method. I bc should write a book on it! Oh that’s right I did in 1998 “Auto Theft-Let The Truth Be Known!” As well as an forensic auto theft course of 1,350 pages in power point format. Over 60 published articles. Peer reviewed testing on many vehicle subjects!
It’s one thing to brag, it is quite another to prove!
Here is my court record going back which goes back 30 years in the auto theft forensics field! Absolutely no one in this field has a record even close! The charlatan experts in my opinion commonly are in court trying to support their conclusions! Their reports are questioned all the time!
I have been examining thousands of auto theft claims to determine how a reported stolen vehicle was last driven since 1990.
I have only had to defend my reports 3 times. 2 went in my client insurance company’s favor. The third, the jury got emotional and felt sorry for the plaintiff and aawarded him $10k. They didn’t care about the forensics and I could prove the insured had not supplied me a key!
Please realize the forensic experts selling substandard services that they refer to as forensics are not competitors of mine. One might say by naming them, it’s just sour grapes and I have an axe to grind.
Not at all. I am a professional and unlike them don’t take this personal. I should for the malicious damage they have tried to do to my name and business over the years, colluding with insurance defense attorneys to put me out of business and in one situation, trying to get me out in federal prison!
One really needs to think this out. Why did the boys as we called them, go to do much trouble to destroy me? The reason is obvious. I am that big of a threat that can expose them for what they are in my opinion. They are frauds serving as a tool to defraud the insured! To give reason for the investigator to investigate the claim, manufacture what appears to be a believable motive for the claim to be denied or worse yet, prosecuted!
When I defend insureds, defendants, and carriers, it’s not my job to determine Innocence or guilt! I only supply facts and guess what? Some of these claims the end result is inconclusive. Too many inconclusives or determining it was a good theft, will make the investigator consider using someone else!
These Forensic Locksmiths, engineers and mechanics as experts are very dangerous. I know for a fact, there was not enough evidence commonly due to fire that these experts have made conclusions inferring insured involvement with the theft, yet if confronted with fact and common sense, their credibility is in danger!
I have warned insurance defense attorneys and cops investigators, but they continue to use their services!
I have even put skin in the game where I have guaranteed my conclusion to be without question and if proven wrong, I would give a full refund of my fees on the claim or case! The independent forensic locksmith would never make such a guaranty! That tells one about the quality of their work product.
They supply free sales “training seminars.”(propaganda teaching the unimforned) their secret scientific processes. Science is not secret and should be available for peer review!
I charge for my seminars. I am not begging for insurance work. I will gladly take it, but I am not going to report on anything other than facts!
The problem is that dealing with one claim at a time is not icontext. Let’s say I am reviewing their report. It is made to appear as though their is specific testing (of something the average person doesn’t understand in the first place. At that point it is assumed this is a highly technical forensic field and since he is a forensic locksmh and we are forced to believe his conclusions because there is no argument from the other side.
Now, for the context! I have hundreds of reports they have age drafted over the years. Let’s say I supply 5 or 10 of previous reports from other vehicles for compare to subject vehicle.
Let’s say 5 were recovered burned and 5 not burned ands vehicle burned.
There are 2 different processes used between burned vehicles and non burned vehicles.
Burned vehicles commonly have only half the evidence a non burned has.
Explain this to me- how can one have two different processes, yet have the same identical conclusion? You can’t! That defies science! Yet with exculpatory electronic evidence destroyed by fire, the conclusion is the vehicle was last driven with a key of the proper type!
All a guess which the report claims is based on a reasonable degree of scientific certainty! A lie that floats right past all those in court!
Dealing with these goofs is no different than being told by Dr Faucie on Feb 28th, 2020 the Coronavirus Covid 19 is minimal danger and within weeks we are warned of 2illion deaths and the US is on lockdown!
What an irony–a parellel between my field and America’s health situation!
I believe it was Feb 28, 2020 Dr. Fausie claimed the Covid 19 posed no health threat. Within weeks are country was shut down! He is the expert on infectious diseases. He uses the word science and everyone listens even though I have seen no peer reviewed report in which 6 ft is a safe distance to be separated. How about 5 foot 11 or 10 feet? Blowing smoke, just like the certified forensic locksmiths I successfully oppose in court!
The courts appear to be in love with the word or title forensics, when it gas never been applied!
I am going to put up some names. Not to embarrass or ridicule, but in my opinion their work product sucks. We have enough documentation to cause the conclusions to collapse!
Not all names are mentioned, but just a few key players that will be found to be used in multiple states. As I said, this is not personal and just plain fact.
North American West
Works across California. Chad Tredway
According to my information, he is a licensed Private Investigator and worked for insurance companies as an employee. About 2010 bought the name North American from Robert Mangine who at the time was working out of Las Vegas.
Interesting North American West and North American Forensics and Technical Services use the same cookie cu5er format reports.
To my knowledge Tredway gas no documentation as a auto auto technician. He never was a locksmith and he has no background in stolen vehicles to determine the difference from a fraud or a theft as it relates to stolen vehicles. He is a certified forensic locksmith and as stated the organization that gave them that title has been defunct for over 5 years.
I know for a fact he testified in a criminal trial concerning a reported stolen BMW which was recovered sevrrely burned, in which he implied it was last riven with the insureds key, which is a great truck when all electronic case we’re destroyed by fire!
Had I been the expert for the defendant, Tredways conclusion would have been toast!
He does not disassemble ignition locks, does not use a microscope, does not appear to retain evidence!
To be scientifically verified another examiner needs the evidence to perform an ignition lock analysis. How can that work then? It can’t! The standard canned conclusion no matter what, the vehicle was last driven with a key or key fob of the proper type!
Plaintiff attorneys with a case involving one of Tredway’s “Forensic” reports. Deposition time with him will be an exceptional treat with my retention.
After we have questioned about his unproven methodology, one question that will develop will be:
What actual training, experience background do you have in vehicle theft? What qualifies him at all to examine any theft to determine how it was last driven.
The answers will be striking!
Please realize, Tredway does a Lion’s share of examinations on theft and mechanical for the major carriers in California! This could be a domino effect(
Insurance companies using his services be aware, I am actively looking for the claims he served as their expert for forensics!
Mark and Ryan Ames from Toledo Ohio
Apparently they have a special forensic tool. A crystal ball!
The vehicle does not need to be recovered for them to determine how the vehicle was last driven! A-1 has drafted reports on vehicle’s never recovered, yet they could determine how it was last driven or moved like in towing! No, they really couldn’t but in some situations the fake “Forensic” title threw them off! A common situation with this ruse.
Since there is no evidence, a recreation of the examination can’t be performed. This means the methodology and the conclusions are not scientific or forensic.
Here is a logical question: if the vehicle examination is not required on non- recovered vehicles, what is the point of doing examinations on any recovered thefts? Probably for a photo shoot! This does illustrate the quality of their work product! Extremely questionable!
We are actively searching for claims and cases involving this firm as well. We have over 200 of their previous forensic reports.
Mark Ames is a highly qualified locksmith without question, but that has absolutely nothing to do with forensic locksmithing and his “Forensic”reporting. They have no examination standards.
North American Forensic and Technical Consultants based in Florida.
They offer serves in Kentucky, Maryland, DC, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island.
Robert Mangine, Christopher Arnold.
Disqualified in a Virginia court: Comm v. Vaught CR16-595 / Stafford County Virginia for refusing to answer a subpoena 9/6/2017
Clients include Geico, Allstate and others.
Back in 2010 in California (State of California v Roth) the firm actually applied true forensic locksmithing methodology, removing the ignition, disassembling it, performing microscopic examination to the keys and internal lock components. Micro photos were taken.
However, about that time, evidently, it must have been considered too much time and effort taking an hours-long investigation process and turning it into minutes long!
Ignition components were no longer removed and retained in non burned vehicles. No internal photos of the ignition components. Canned cookie-cutter reports are common from this firm.
From my experience, “Forensic” reports are highly questionable almost always using the same generic conclusion that the vehicle was last driven with a key of the proper type deliberately not staying the last specific key used to start the engine.
We are actively looking for cases involving this firm!
Never considered the anti theft system was bypassed for remote start causing denial of a claim, which we got settled.
Never considered remote start in which a working key has been installed under the dash to bypass the transponder system. This was a felony case in MA. Conclusion, last driven with a key of the proper type. Of course it was with the second programmed key for the vehicle removed from under the dash due to remote start.
This was a crime scene, but they retained no evidence. No vehicle, no key used to last drive the vehicle. No remains of remote start they never looked for. No ignition or the object said to be jammed in the key way!
This is how forensic experts are supposed to handle a criminal case?
Another case where they are touted to be expert forensic locksmiths, yet never examined the ignition lock or keys!
We are actively looking for active cases with their involvement as experts!
Arc Forensics Indiana and US
Another firm that drafts reports on unrecovered stolen vehicles.
We are actually looking at cases with their involvement.
There are more we will list later. Insurance companies assume all investigations are the same. They are not!
We look forward to bringing honesty to the profession!
If we can we of assistance, contact Rob at 1-866-490-1673 or email@example.com