Be Careful Listening To The Badge On Vehicle Security!


, , ,

This fantasy is from law enforcement wanting people to believe how smart cops are at vehicle security. This article gives completely false information.

There are two systems. One for the locking and unlocking of the doors and to set or disarm the alarm.

The second system is a transponder anti theft system involving a computer chip in the ignition key or start button.

I can beat either, but covering your keys in foil will not protect you at all. This is another urban legend probably told as a lie from a thief that the cop bit hook line and sinker on!

As far as vehicle security to prevent someone from getting inside, there is none. Most of these systems have not been updated since the late 90s and the rolling codes that prevented getting into a vehicle back then, no longer stop a thief. He can program his own remote to get into most vehicles today. However, they are not starting them!

The problem in my view is cops are curious. They generally don’t believe anything unless from a criminal. Weird huh?

Don’t waste your time here! It’s stupid and untrue.

SIU Investigation, EUO Consultant


, , , , , ,

Auto Theft Claims Master

Rob Painter


Initial contact is free of charge in order be to understand your situation

Of course everything we discuss is always confidential!

I apologize if there is redundant information on other pages, but I am revising about 6 different websites with lots of different information, and I will edit when I have the time. I believe that I have addressed immediate concerns so you can understand your situation.

This will be geared to auto theft claims, but I consult on all personal property claims such as renters, homeowners, and boat claims. I have also been involved in commercial business claims with successful outcomes. I average a 90 to 95% success rate in which the claims are settled with my intervention.

One might think with this success, I have an insurance sales or underwriting background. No, I do not have such experience.

Some might think I have some type of legal background. That would be correct, but not in the stadardized way like being a lawyer or a paralegal.

My experience has come the hard way serving as an expert witness giving hundreds and hundreds of hours of sworn testimoñy combined with the fact that I have been involved in every area of auto theft investigations for over 20 years working with Special Investigation Units across the country for just about any auto insurer out there.

I have learned a lot which I exploit for my client and I have taught these investigators for years.

I have formed great relationships with many of these people. Of course there are some who hate me, because I may destroy their case  they were building for denial.

When an insured suffers a loss on the beginning there is very little concern. After all, they have insurance, there should be a few questions about the theft event, but now it’s time to pay up with in 30 days!

Yeah, that was the good ole days, but it is not like that anymore.

When you submit your claim you will be required to give a recorded statement. This will be basic information about the theft and details surrounding it. They want accountability for all keys. Who else uses the vehicle? Any enemies? Any broken glass at the theft scene? Did the vehicle have an alarm? II highly suggest that you listen to the question well before answering. It simply does not look good for you to have to go back and change your answers.

I realize you may be in shock because someone iñvaded you personal space by stealing your property. Most people do not understand the emotions that pop up in these situations 7nless they have been in the same situation at one time in thier lives.

For example: you tell the claims rep that the car was parked at 6 pm. You went back to the car at 7 pm and you found it was no longer there. You speak with the friends you met that day and although the meeting was at 6, you were an hour late and did not arrive until 7 pm. This means your time line is totally off and an investigator will find out. Instead if correcting that answer that the insurance will look at as a misrepresentation of material fact, confirm with witnesses or friends what time the vehicle was stolen.

These investigations are not to find out who stol3 the vehicle! You need to be aware, this is an insurance fraud investigation and you are the target!

The first knee-jerk reaction is to retain an attorney. That is the last thing you would ever want to do in an SIU Investigation. This situation does not merit an attorney because it takes the Investigation to a snail’s pace. Now you can no longer have the option to speak with the investigator. Everything has to go through the attorney. Anyone that deals with attorneys know they are difficult to contact.

Another down side of using an attorney is a huge majority know less than you about auto theft claims protocol, putting you in the position of paying to train them! Auto theft claims are much different than personal injury or slip and fall. They require a specialist like me that has 28 years experience in these claims.

If you hire me to consult you through this witch Hunt, I make this so less a burden on your shoulders and chances of getting the claim settled go up exponentially, because thier ultimate goal is to deny the claim. This would be denied by the investigator, but just follow the money.

Who pays the investigator to investigate? The insurance carrier! If all claims are paid, what is the sense of paying the investigator?

You were probably denied because of the vehicle you drive. Most vehicles equipped with an anti-theft transponder are deemed unstealable by the insurance companies. This is due to the free training they get from their forensic experts.

There are major problems on that front that I will go into.

Basically, they are not a w-2 employee of the insurance company and are termed independent.

These experts have the audacity to accuse the insured of fraud!

You really can’t blame the investigator or the company. They don’t know you and you could certainly we’ll be submitting a false claim. That happens a lot!

It’s not always professional crooks submitting false claims.

It could be a neighbor that fell on hard times, possibly losing his job, owing more than the car is worth (under water), or maybe the wife went through an emergency operation. Bottom line, whatever the reason, here they are trying to illicitly collect that claim money. Although I feel bad for whatever financial situation they got themselves into, it is still a criminal act and I feel they should be prosecuted.

I have seen juries over look the crime andinsert emotion into their verdict in these hardship situations and that is something no one has control of.

There are also the professional scammers submitting bogus claims or at the very least ripped off the buyer of the car and when he submitted a theft claim after owning it for 3 years turned out to be an inadvertantly fraudulent clam.

My urpose here is not to attack the companies for investigating claims. Without the investigators, none of us would be able to afford comprehensive insurance. Before I go on as to the consulting, I want to put in context what these investigators deal with day in and day out, and you will realize the investigation is nothing personal, but some investigators get overzealous and in many cases, they were deliberately deceptive information by thier so-called “forensic” experts who’s reports are responsible for the subsequent investigation and potential denial of the claim. I assure you, this is not an accident or a simple mistake. These experts know the investigator is totally reliant on their bogus conclusions and they figure they will have opposition. When I have cases opposing them .as an expert, I slice and dice this clowns and illistrate to a Jury thier misrepresentations.

As the insured being investigated, it may be because the forensic expert inferred you are a liar and the car was last driven with one of your keys, even though it wasn’t. What? The investigator is supposed to believe you over their hand picked indepemdent forensic experts? Good luck on that!

Insurance Investigations

Some quick context of what investigators are up against:

10 years prior to a theft claim, a guy got a really good deal on a Ferrari. He purportedly paid $50k for a car valued over $100k at the time. I don’t know about you, but I would be thinking this deal is too good to be true and I would have ran away as fast as possible, but that is me.

In defense of the owner to justify this price was that the car did have a salvage/rebuilt title devaluing the vehicle by 35% do at that rate the vehicle was worth about $65k retail.$15k is one heck of a mark down. Something wasn’t right. The owner told me that the guy was his friend and was a dealer buying cars from the auctions all the time. In fact, he had what he thought to be receipts for the replacement parts to rebuild the car.

Fast forward 10 years. The buddy he bought the car from had died 5 years previous. The Ferarri got stolen. The car can had been insured for 10 years by the same major carrier. The car was not recovered, however the investigator reached out to their forensic experts to author a report about how the car was possible to steal because of it’s sophisticated anti-theft transponder system requiring the owner’s key to start the engine.

In case you did not realize it, these experts implicated owner’s involvement in the theft of the vehicle. They inspected absolutely no physical evidence and went solely off the description and operation theory about the design of the system in a service manual. The fact (assumption) was that the vehicle was driven at the time of the Theft. Towing could not even be eliminated, yet here the Certified Forensic Locksmith as an agent (subcontractor vendor) is accusing the insured of a crime with absolutely no physical evidence to support the accusation! Unfortunately, this happens Nationwide far too often. Unopposed, the insured’s lawyer would not know how to refuted the expert. Who would the jury believe? The Certified Forensic locksmith of course, because the jury would put this expert in a professional catagory because of the self-described term forensics in his title. Many members of juries from what I have been told are fascinated by TV shows like Forensic Files iles and CSI and put these experts in that real life TV catagory. Unfortunately, I have run into far too many incompetent attorneys confused by it all without thinking of the basics! The rreport and conclusions should be thrown out of court automatically because they are giving testimony on physical evidence they never viewed! Duh!This blows past attorneys all the time. Instead, they are more concerned about if that anti-theft system can be defeated. Of course it can, but what is the point? You are feeding into their bull crap that they actually we’re testifying on evidence they never had! Yeah, and these attorneys are not ashamed to charge lots of bucks for their idiocy!

This insured was dragged through an investigation because of these moron forensic experts because of a potential fraud claim that did not happen.

A day before the examination under oath, the insured called me back very concerned. I asked him what the problem was. He noticed the title for the Ferrari was a duplicate. 10 years he had to look at the title and the day before the EUO he tells me the title is a duplicate! Now, could be the original salvage got lost and a duplicate was issued. It could be there was a lien on the salvage title and someone “washed it” with a duplicate. At any rate it was a problem. We also don’t know when it happened through which state. The car was bought in Illinois but he had it registered in Florida where he moved to and his dead buddy had handled all of the paperwork.

I had spent 4 hours on the phone with him scripting him as to how to honestly answer all the questions. I gave him questions he never saw coming so he was fully prepared. I told him just like all my clients, my phone is open for any hicups during the EUO, take a break and call me if you have a problem question. And last but not least, call me after the EUO immediately in case we have to clarify something.

Well, I hadn’t heard from him. I don’t know how many times I tried to reach him, but on the fourth day, he called me!

I asked him what happened, everything should have gone very smooth. I had him covered to attack the forensic report and by all my work, the claim should have been paid.

He told me he went out and got drunk for 3 days.

I didn’t get it until he told me what went down. He told me the Insurance company told him if he admitted today that the car was Ferrari was stolen they would not press charges for receing stolen property. He did so accordingly.

Had he called me during the EUO, I would have told him what to say and do and chances are results would have been much more favorable to him. After all the carrier could have checked this out 10 years ago but didn’t and for 10 years had their hands out for the premium every year. In my view the insurce carrier aided and abetted in the posession of the stolen peoperty at the very least! Anyway, that is a claim that went wrong for everyone involved. At least the insurance company did not have to pay. The vehicle was never recovered. The insured didn’t have to contest the denial and get stuck with an incompetent attorney not having to cross examine the expert on their report based on no physical evidence.

The weirdest thing was the insured suspected forany reasons he told me afterward he had bought a stolen Ferrari. I sure don’t have $50k to throw away, but evidently the insured did. That consultant claim is one out of 4 that did not get to as planned. Over 10 years, I have hundreds and hundreds of claims with  I succesfully consulted in. Claims the insurance company had altready hadthe claim scheduled for denial. The problem here was not me but information the insured did not tell me about.

The Cloned Car That Was A Ghost

A cloned car does not exist and in merely a mirage.

In this case I was serving as an expert witness.

The insured bought the car from a Florida dealer. The vehicle was .Corverte.  it was being transported from NYC to Florida. The Vette had a NY title.

Because being from out of state, the vehicle required inspection. Vehicle was recorded as being inspected in Florida. Tirle was transferred from New York to Florida and car was registered and insured to the owner. He took photos of the Vette. The outside was green and interior was black.

The insured evidently enjoyed driving this car for 3 years. It was stolen from his driveway one night.

He did everything right. He reported the theft the cops. He submitted a claim to his insurer. He went over a no f above quizzing neighbors if they heard it saw anything coming from his driveway. No one saw or heard anything.

Since this vehicle was equipped with an anti-theft transponder Systems, it drew scrutiny because these vehicles according to insurance investigators can’t be stolen without the use of the owner’s key. The insured, because of the transponder was now under investigation.

NICB was now involved (National Insurance Crime Bureau) because a national check of the VIN was listed in Iowa.

NICB went to Iowa to check on this. They interviewed the owner who had bought the car new. He was asked if the car had been to New York? He said no. Has the car been out of state. He confirmed it had been to Illinois for car show. NICB took photos of the car, which happened to be the same colors the insured had in his photos.

He was asked if he ever had the car for sale on Craigslist list or anywhere else? His answer was no.

Next, the NICB attempted to contact the seller in New York finding the phone number was not valid anymore  They went to the address you seller had listed. That was a vacant block where houses no longer on the road.

They contacted New York Department of motor vehicle and gave them their summary about the Vette

Vehicle Anti Theft Systems


, , , , ,

For years we have been told vehicles with transponders are impossible to steal.

After all, a replacement key if you lose yours could run you $1,000 or more at a dealer!

The dealer is the worst place to send your car for this service.

Consider contacting a local locksmith. The prices are much lower, you are getting the same keys and the best thing is the locksmith comes to you and you don’t need to have the car towed to a dealer!

None of these factory installed anti theft systems are even designed to prevent theft! Yet they are they have names like immobilizer, passive anti-theft system, Vehicle Anti-Theft System and names accordingly. Go figure!

On the first generation Ford transponder system, it was marketed as being a system as being “virtually” unstealable. That is how it was known by locksmiths and every Ford dealer mechanic. All that held true until Rob Painter took a case against Ford in Los Angeles (published on web-Emily Greines v Ford). I studied the wiring schematics and designed a theory. I applied my theory using one wire to bypass the system under the hood . I supplied my process to my peers and consensus was that applied bypass worked Everytime.

These systems are antiquated by up to 3 years when the vehicle is sold new.

There is another major problem. If one can steal a Chevy, he can steal all GM vehicles. The same applies to most car makers.

The cost of key programmers has gone down from thousands to hundreds! All available on the web to anyone with the cash!

China makes knock off versions of the $15,000 T-Code and the price is in the hundreds! Granted, it won’t make all the programmed keys the T-Code will, but it does pretty good.

In 2012 I had an AK 400 programmer I purchased from China directly for $350. That machine could program a BMW remote smart key in 60 seconds! That means if I were a thief, I could have the car in 60 seconds!

The first thing the imvestigator would think is the owner had to be involved in the theft claim! This happens far too often across the country and the vehicles aren’t recovered. The investigator will take the keys to  dealer and have the dates and mileage read for that gotcha moment. That’s all fine and good, but you don’t have the car to compare the mileage and dates on. If I progrsmmed my key for it, the factory keys will no longer work. Thete are so many open questions that must be answered, but can’t be without the vehicle. Yet, insured’s claims are denied with the assistance of the BMW dealer.

This is the same company prior to the smart key around 2005 and prior was nice enough to I a plastic transponder key in the glove box inside the owners manual. Few were aware of this, but thieves were! Thanks for that fine thinking BMW!

These emergency keys easily broke and I don’t know how many I recovered that I had to fish what was left of a broken plastic key in the ignition.

I will be adding much more to this blog.

Please feel free to comment.

Contact is



Copyright 2018. Rob Painter all rights reserved.

The Professional Certified Forensic Locksmith


, , , , , , , , , , ,

When a court designated expert witness testifies, we assume he is a professional and supports his oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Being an expert witness also shows character. If the character is flawed, chances are his testimony is as well. For the time being, I am going to withhold his name, but if if someone writes me at, I will send them documented fact.

These attempts to destroy me personally and professionally are not to be taken lightly. These events are extremely serious and cost me clients all because he was a sore loser in court multiple times.

This all goes back to a court martial I was representing the defense in. The case was USAF v SSgt Jackson.

The vehicle was a reports stole and recovered seriously destroyed by fire.

These cases are different from civillian trials in which the experts are not sequestered. In this case, I was second chair with the attorney. My job in court was to listen to the opposing expert and supply questions for the attorney as the expert was being challenged.

Of course, I also got to serve as a consultant then as an expert witness.

In the beginning, after reviewing t e file and the expert’s report, arrangements were made for us to go to the expert’s shop and review the evidence gathered from the vehicle. This was the beginning of what started this guy’s personal hatred of me.

We got to his shop and the expert’s wife I believe handed me the evidence from the vehicle. There was a sheet of cardboard with burned debris attached with scotch tape!

The remains of the severely fire damaged ignition lock wafers (tumblers) were present. There were two wafers distorted and broken. The wafers still had the burned carbon still attached and were never cleaned to observe fresh tool marks and wear. The additional wafers were damaged from heat in different ways. They had no evidenctuary value. Other burned ignition components were also on this cardboard. I noticed however the retaining strap holding the ignition lock was not present. I didn’t know if it had been destroyed in the fire if it was cast iron, or if it was steel and just not recovered.

I spent around 5 minutes looking at this so-called evidence and handed it back to the woman and we left.

When the expert found I spent only 5 minutes looking at the junk he called evidence, it is my understanding he wa beyond angry!

A couple days later, I went to a Mitshubishi dealer and found the strap I was looking for was not steal, but cast iron and would have been destroyed by fire. I knew this, but the expert didn’t!

In trial, we demanded to know where that strap was. The expert was forced to buy a brand new ignition lock assembly costing him over $200 out of his own pocket, just so he could determine what happened to the strap, which the attorney and I already knew it was destroyed by the fire. The point was, the expert should have known! He was pretty unhappy about that too!

During his testimony, he attempted to prove he was a trained fire expert from a forensic organization. I made him walk this back because I was a member of that organization and they never offered fire training. I should have just let him perjure himself.

This industry is filled with crybabies that act like school girls. I want it understood this is not a bitch session. If these goofs have pulled this on me, it’s obvious they pull their crap on insureds.

Later during the case, the prosecution wanted to talk to me and find out what I would testify to. I had no secrets. I showed the prosecutor my transponder key programmer and told him I would be showing the jury the equipment. The expert was in the room as well. I asked him, why don’t you use a machine like this to determine the number of keys programmed for the vehicle? I guess he didn’t like my question and ignored me.

Now, this expert had no problem testifying that all thieves do not want to spend the $5,000-$6,000 on a key programmer. Interesting he woild say all thieves with authority because there is no way he could interview all thieves in the world! What a moron!

When I was on the stand, I was asked if t he expert’s statements about all thieves was accurate? Of course I said no, and it is assumed a thief would but a key programmer. What do tjhievs do? They steal. So who is to say they didn’t steal a key programmer? My past experience working in a Dodge dealer, we had a programmer stolen once a month.

As the prosecutor was badgering me on the stand, I reached into my computer bag and held my key programmer out and said one of these?

The prosecution objected, but it was too late!

The expert and the prosecution tried to deceive the jury as well.

They made it sound like all this money spent was just to program keys for the subject vehicle, which would be a lie.

The programmer I had could program keys for hundreds of makes and models. Not just for the subject vehicle.

After losing that case and having to shell oit $250 for an ignition he was stuck with pissed him off in a grudge that still lasts today. When I address all of the things he did to destroy me and my ex-wife, yoi will find he is no hero and we really have to wonder how many times he has lied in court!

The Saga continues!

Vehicle Fire Causation


, , , , ,

I am going to address some forensic fire evaluations I have been involved in. You should find them interesting because no matter how you slice it, the conclusions are beyond question.

There are structure fires, forest fires and car fires. No, a fire is not just a fire! Vehicle fires are by themselves.

Corvette C-6

Facts surrounding the fire: Fire self suppressed because it was covered with a heavy car cover (thick insulated blanket). Engine started and fuel filler door button accidently pushed. It is possible that because cover was on vehicle there was too much resistance in the filler door opening, but no matter what it illustrated a dangerous design issue. In the left rear quarter were two foam insulator bags wrapped in polyethylene (extremely flammable) plastic bags. All this designed on a poly carbon Corvette body. Fuel filler door made of steel. Wiring and opening actuator mounted directly above the insulator/ sound deadener bags.

The fire marshall that examined the fire could not reach a conclusion.

The origin of this fire was at the filler door area. Flames were venting from this area melting the 1/4 panel in the area.

Research on consumer complaints turned up complaints of filler door sticking and binding through auto service bulletins.

Service manual cited extreme warnings of heat or direct flame being anywhere near the foam bags.

More later……..

Copyright 2019. Rob Painter. All rights reserved.

Evidence Retention For The Self-Described Auto Theft Experts Out There


, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 the theft.

You the insured may be the victim but to the investigator, you are the perpetrator! The investigator is already sure of this.

Remember, your car can’t be stolen without your key. At least, that is what they believe because their experts taught them that at those free seminars.

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 their 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 judge or jury 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 potentially creating new marks. WD 40. What does it do? Penetrates!

Why the difference in protocol? No longer were the experts stating they could 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! One 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 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.

Yes, there is insurance fraud out there, but proper evidence gathering and non-deceptive statements would go a long way.


Copyright 2018. Rob Painter


Cell 1-903-513-7808


Auto Theft Claims Master


, , , , , , , , , , ,


Rob Painter

Honey Grove, TX 75446




Court Qualified Expert Witness on Auto Theft/

Vehicle Fire O&C

Vehicle Failure Analysis

Consultant and Presentations for SIUs

Auto Theft Examinations

Subrogation Involving Vehicle Events

Vehicle Security                 Consultant

Vehicle & Semi Collision Analysis

Air Bag Non-Deployment

GM Ignition Recall Consultant




I do not claim to be the ultimate source on auto theft and forensics however over the last two decades it appears I know so much more than the insurance experts I oppose in court. My court record reflects this.

In normal situations, the expert is only one small entity of the overall case and testifies on their expertise in regards to a specific subject.

Auto theft claim denial cases are an exception to the rule. These cases no matter how investigators and insurance defense lawyers spin it, are strictly based on the conclusions associated with the reported stolen vehicle and how it was last driven.

An investigator will state that a denial is not based on the conclusions of a forensic locksmith, and their purpose is only one tool in the investigators arsenal of investigative tools.

Now for the truth: Financial motive and other items related to the case for denial are just add-ons after the fact. Had the insurance compensated expert not accused the policy holder of being in possession of the last key used, there would be no investigation and no denial!

These cases center around the insurance expert’s conclusions. Successfully refuting the expert causes the investigation house of cards to come crashing down, as has been proven for over 20 years in the nation’s courts!

In the event the insured or defendant does not have their own consultant to represent them, chances of prevailing are very slim.

The judge or the jury is going to listen to that insurance expert who commonly  titles himself with the term “forensic.”

After all, many are so fascinated by the forensic TV shows, they equate the forensic locksmith of performing specialized technical services to reach their conclusions. Although there are truly specialized procedures that can be applied so the examination methodology can be replicated in automotive forensics, none of these procedures are applied by the insurance experts in this field.

I have found that these facts are impossible to point out to insurance investigators, because they commonly have a friendship bond with these experts. Any question as to their methodology or conclusions is looked on as a personal attack towards the investigator’s friend, or it is just one competitor speaking bad about the other.

My experience with these investigators is that many are extremely smart and thorough. They are only as good as the information they receive from their experts.

I support the SIU (Special Investigation Unit) completely. If not for their involvement, insurance fraud would be far more rampant and our rates would be much higher. The problem has been how to get investigators to listen and demand that the expert can factually support their conclusions. Where can they learn what to ask these experts so they don’t end up on the wrong side of a bad faith case? From me of course!

Currently, the forensic locksmiths and engineers servicing these claims are using ambiguous language in their reports, no standardized methodology and no technical knowledge or procedures are being performed. Evidence is being destroyed or not retained.

Investigators don’t ever think of this, but yes, even your claim can be denied. I have represented regional SIU managers that thought they would never have their car stolen. They never pictured being the ones under investigation until they were!

All because of incompetence on the part of the expert!

Auto theft investigation is the only field I am aware of, where the expert does not allow any opposing expert near the vehicle when he is performing destructive testing to an ignition lock. Treated as a secret, the experts who have a vested interest in the outcome of the claim can simply alter evidence by inserting a key into an ignition lock.

Science is not secret. If treated secretly, it is not science!

My knowledge does not end in auto theft matters, but this is my passion! So often the Certified Forensic Locksmith drafting a report as to how a reported stolen vehicle was last driven was inferred to be last driven with the insured’s key. Or was it? Was it the report was deliberately obfuscated to make the reader to believe this?

Investigators commonly run on a hunch based on already bad information. They are taught at free seminars put on by the experts that vehicles equipped with transponder based anti-theft systems can’t be driven without the use of the owner’s key. There by making the vehicle unstealable.

Auto makers make the same assertion. After all, they are not going to tell the public their security is outdated and can ne defeated by the time the vehicle is on the show floor!

Investigators believing this non-sense have already pre-judged the insured as submitting a fraud claim. Instead of being unbiased and open minded giving the insured the benefit of doubt, the investigator just needs to confirm they have a fraud claim. This, by using an outside source the Certified Forensic Locksmith or engineer.

Their rule of thumb is because the CFL has a business not associated with the carrier they are independent. However if the CFL does not find in favor for the carrier (their client) almost all the time, the carrier does not need their service and will find someone that will say what the carrier needs to investigate the claim further.

The CFL will no longer claim a specific key was last used. It used to be that one firm would identify the specific last key used. This process required work however. The ignition was removed, disassembled and the wafers (tumblers) were examined under a microscope comparing to the keys for identifiable tool marks. The microscope was capable of photography of the components under magnification.

Now, the ignition is rarely removed and disassembled. The only time we see photos of the wafers is when the ignition was apart by dropping to the driver’s floor as the ignition lock melted during a fire. At that time the wafers are recovered. What was very common in this situation was that microscopic photos were taken to wow the court. Of course judges and jurors had no idea what they were looking at in the exhibits, but it was impressive to see these tiny parts blown up in photos.

Here was the problem: the soot and the baked on crust was not cleaned from the wafer lands (where the key rides when inserted into the lock). In essence, unless one had x-ray vision, any markings from tampering, picking or the use of a newly cut key could not be observed. There was never a problem presenting a predetermined conclusion though where the lock was last rotated with a key of the proper type.

Some might call this scheme used as a valid investigation tool a fraud. I won’t, I leave it up to the reader. However, if it is a fraud, isn’t that interesting? Facilitating fraud in order to accuse the insured of fraud.

As stated before, I don’t feel this issue is on the investigator. They are using the company Protocol by hand picking these experts from a company vendor list.

It sounds legitimate that they use an outside independent forensic firm. The word indepent leading someone to believe they are impartial. Their quasi boss is the insurance company, so they are going to say whatever helps the investigator.

They let it be assumed they determined the last key used. Instead, they state the last key used was a key of the proper type. This phrase leaves open for any key, the insured’s first or second key, a duplicate key, a cloned key, a thief’s key. It doesn’t matter. They all fit under the statement key of the proper type.

Forensics is about eliminating  hypotheses until one fits. The CFL doesn’t do this.

They make factual statements that they can’t support. Who can catch them? Virtually no one, but me!

So what are these conclusions based on in the testimony of a CFL on a reported stolen car?

Speculation, guess work and bull crap assuming they will never be exposed as the charlatans they are. They know lawyers and juries have no clue about what the CFL is talking about. The CFL knows with that bogus forensic title they espouse they will be believed. Unless of course I am present to rain on the parade!


Electronic Anti-Theft

One really needs to think on this one. Sending locksmiths out to examine vehicles that have no ignition locks. What qualifies them with electronic knowledge about these systems? Sure, many can program a key fob if they have the equipment, but after that they are lost! Any issues of bypass or error, they simply are not capable of determining how the vehicle was last driven. That is like sending a plumber to do an electrical rewiring job!

Yet, insurance investigators commonly have the keyless ignition vehicles reported stolen have them examined by Certified Forensic Locksmiths. We really need to question the conclusions on every keyless ignition that every CFL made!

In the CFL report it is commonly found manufacturer information giving the description an operation of the system. This is all design theory that is quite different from that which happens in the street. However, inserting this information in the report makes the reader to believe the system cannot be defeated by default.

One hypothesis is to interrogate the computer on a vehicle not involved in a fire of flood. (Can’t be performed on those vehicles). The purpose is to check for active error codes. Another valuable purpose, in most cases determines how many keys are programmed for the vehicle.

Is this operation commonly performed by CFLs and engineers? Almost never! What if a third programmed key shows up? Could that have been the thief’s key?

So how can a fair and impartial examination be performed on your vehicle? That is my point! It can’t!

As far as I am concerned, every denial involving a CFL or an engineer should be re-evaluated. Maybe it is a fraud claim and should be treated accordingly. What about the examinations terminally flawed? There are many!



Much of the information included on this site has never been addressed before except by myself. It is my intention to cause inquiry and interest in a field that can go multiple directions. If you are looking for a challenging exciting career opportunity, who else would you want to learn from as someone that has lived it for more than two decades?

There may be information as to how to steal cars. None of this information is secret unless you ask the insurance experts, who will state you stole your own vehicle for the insurance money!

Automotive forensics can be origin and cause of a vehicle fire, accident reconstruction, determining as to how a reported stolen vehicle was last driven, recall and more. It’s taking the assignment and using simple scientific principals and following the facts.

There is nothing like the feeling when you discover a case, where there is no other possible conclusion!

This is also known as the thrill of the chase! When any other forensic examiner can replicate your methodology and reach the same exact conclusion!

Fortunately, because there are so many charlatans and incompetence in the auto theft and forensic field, competent analysis is wide open when it comes to opposing the insurance experts.

Known as Certified Forensic Locksmiths and some engineers, screams incompetence at it’s best.

Clint Eastwood playing “Dirty Harry” said it best: “A man has to know his limitations!”

Evidently, these guys don’t.

I am going to list experts I have successfully opposed in courts and some I have not had the opportunity to yet.

I may highlight their reports and what is wrong them. Please remember, these are opposing experts and not competitors. I don’t know any of them personally. In fact, some I have never met.

The reason for this, is to show their short comings and how it is just going to get worse for their client carriers.

I am not a lawyers, but these cases they offer reports for, in my opinion scream bad faith!

These publications are not meant to embarrass anyone. Tjey deal with statements made they cannot support.

Yet, insurance carriers use them as a straw man to accuse the insured of fraudulent activity!

What the investigator will say to the insured: “We had an independent forensic firm examine the vehicle and they determined the vehicle was last driven with a key of the proper type.”

This statement is wrongly and deliberately translated to be one of the insured’s keys. After all, it is claimed forensics was applied. If so, which key of the proper type was last used? The insured’s every day use key? The second key seldomly used? A duplicate key? A cloned key? A thief’s key?

It wasn’t that long ago they removed the ignition, disassembled it and examined the components under an microscope. Of course, why go to all that work, when a jury or judge knows no better. Now examinations that took hours take minutes!

Different buttons will be for many different subjects.

If you like real life puzzle solving in search for the truth, there is nothing like automotive forensics!

Below is just one example as to how you can be criminally charged because in one case, the vehicle was not treated as a crime scene. No evidence was retained, and even though the insured told the investigator his car had remote start, the expert never attempted to confirm so equipped. The thief had found a functioning transponder key under the dash and drove the car off with that key! The expert accused the insured of having the last key used. Because of the expert’s incompetence he is being prosecuted!

If your car is stolen and it has an aftermarket remote start, the chances are high in California and the Northeast that you will be criminally charged with insurance fraud and filing a false police report at minimum. The forensic examiner inspecting  the vehicle may not realize transponder was bypassed!

Many regions do not pursue these as the mentioned areas. If the vehicle is insured in Las Vegas for example, they simply do not have the time for this.

In Massachusetts there is a law enforcement arm known as the IFB (Insurance Fraud Bureau). They are well meaning and take their jobs seriously. From my experience in the numerous times of dealing with cases they create a serious issue because of their ignorance. There evidently is no care about something known as evidence. They support the purported forensic expert working for the insurance company determining as to how a reported stolen vehicle was last driven.
Evidence: They don’t retain the vehicle or any of the components that were used to render a conclusion. If this is a criminal case and I am no lawyer, but why isn’t the vehicle treated as a crime scene? From my experience, even in a house break in, it is treated as a crime scene. Evidence is gathered. Finger prints are taken as well as documentation stating where items were found and of course lots of photos.
Yet, in Massachusetts and California these appear to be insignificant details years later when the case is prosecuted!
Unfortunately, this puts the defendant at a great disadvantage, because even if they hire their own expert, he has no evidence to examine and can’t confirm or deny anything the insurance expert concluded.
If this was a truly scientific examination, it could be replicated by another expert.The examination can’t be replicated years later because every thing used to reach the conclusion no longer exists!
Yet, many times attorneys disregard these very important facts and it all hinges on the word of the forensic expert the judge qualified to render his expert opinion. Think this can’t happen to you? You are wrong. It can happen to anyone!
California, New Jersey are no better. I am very anti fraud and support insurance investigators 110%. Where I have a problem is with their forensic examiners where the term “forensic” is just a title to them and no reflection on their work product. The argument would be is I am just down-ramping competition. No, they are no competition as I prove in court! They are opposition experts that don’t appreciate me exposing them. Too bad!

Look, I don’t want to minimize the really big problem with insurance fraud. Most of the investigators I know nationwide in my opinion are true professionals and they are pretty good at spotting the bogus claims. They don’t just investigate auto thefts and they involved in it all. The problem I see and it isn’t their fault, but a person can only know so much. They are only as good as the information supplied to them. In the case of auto theft and forensics. I have found that if someone claims to be an expert at anything and they tell it to the right person at the insurance company, they are put on the vendor list. The insurance company makes no effort to confirm they are in fact an expert.
Of course the insurance company that gets upset when they lose a bad faith case.

Auto theft is my specialty, but I perform many different consults as it relates to vehicles and failed components.

Just give a call to 1-866-490-1673 or 1-903-513-7808.

You can write us at

Later I will also

© Copyright 2018. Rob Painter. All rights reserved.


What Do I Require For An Expert in My Auto Theft Claim Denial Case?

If you have an auto theft claim denial case, in order to convince a jury that the Certified Forensic Locksmith that determined  the reported stolen vehicle was last driven with a key of the proper type, is incompetent  and cannot be believed.

These cases can be complex and your expert needs the capability of knowing the experts he is opposing.

The optimal situation is if e has opposed the experts before.

If he has depositions and/or trial testimony of theirs.

If he has reports of theirs, where a pattern can be laid out that they shipped steps in their examinations and still had the same conclusions?

Do the CFLs have an error rating on their testing processes?

Is the expert capable of supplying hard hitting questions for your attorney to ask the CFLs?

Is the expert court savvy?

Has he been through a number of trials for plaintiffs?

Has he served as an expert for insurance companies?

Is he familiar with how the vehicle at hand can be stolen?

Is the expert fully informed on the forensic locksmithing process?

Has he ever published a very large training program on auto theft and forensics investigation, with the testing processes vetted by the FBI?

Is the expert trained in all aspects of manufacturing keys and locks?

Is the expert capable of being a car thief?

Does the expert have 37 years experience with auto theft?

Has tje expert defeated an unstealable transponder system with a strategically placed wire?

Has the expert got vehicle fire and defect experience?

Does the expert work for insurance companies?

Does the expert srrve a plaintiff?

Does the expert serve criminal defendants?

Does the expert serve the prosecution?

Has the expert ever shown his unbiased approach by being appointed an umpire by the courts.

Has the expert published over 50, books and articles on auto theft and forensics?

Has his career encompassed more than just examination of locks, transponder systems and auto theft?

Has he set up the industry standsrds for the examination of stolen vehicles?


Your expert needs to know everything about the auto theft SIU investigation and EUO preparation process in order to assist your attorney with bad faith.


If this is the type of expert you need to prevail in an auto theft claim denial case, we are the firm you need. There is no one else!


1-866-490-1673 ask for Rob





Auto Theft- Legitimate Or Bogus Claim?


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Source: Auto Theft Claim SIU Investigation, EUO Consultant. Court Qualified Auto Theft/Forensic Expert Witness, Vehicle Fire Origin and Cause Instructor.

Serving The US.



The Faceless Experts That Examines a Vehicle to Determine How It Was Last Driven

What is wrong with a Certified Forensic Locksmith opining as to if the vehicle was stolen or not?

Most from my court experience opposing them tells me one of two things. They are either the dumbest experts out there or they are flat out dishonest when they acuse the insured of having the last key used.

It is normal to see a forensic locksmith report to state the key and lock had average wear consistent with the age of the vehicle. Unfortunately, very common.

The question then is; if they are going to stretch the truth here, what else in the report is misinformation?

This statement is a great example of the lack of validity these reports have.

First of all, usage affects the wear, not the age of the vehicle.

Define average as it relates to wear. Now, this is supposed to be a factual proven statement. There is no way to factually determine average wear. However, if such a statement is made about wear, then the lock should be removed and disassembled. The wafer (tumbler) lands (where the key rides when inserted in the lock) should be measured with a micrometer. Those measurements should be compared to new wafers. The same measuring applies to the keys from old to new.

Without doing this the statement is a scam into making one believe they are the forensic experts they portray themselves as.

Forensic Locksmith Reports on a Reported Stolen Vehicle

Depending on the firm, most of these reports are pre-made before they examine the vehicle with a pre-determined conclusion. The major differences are the insured information, the insurance company, the type of vehicle and condition.

Methodology depends on what they feel like examining that day. There is rarely standard replicatable Protocol.

On one vehicle, they will check for excessive wear in the ignition lock by inserting the key and putting the lock in the run position. The examiner will pull on the key and see if it can be removed in that position. In this case, a key is not needed to rotate the lock. Yet, in the the next exam, no such test.

Since many of these firms are to cheap to purchase key programmers that will tell the examiner as to how many keys are programmed for the vehicle. Some vehicles can have 8 keys programmed for them.

The key programmer will also let one know if the transponder is functioning correctly or if there is a problem.

The cheap way these guys use for a test is to block the signal from the chip in the key, by placing foil over the head of the key. If the engine does not start with foil on t he key, the transponder anti theft system in their minds appears to be functioning. They regard this as an important test that is used for them in developing their conclusion.

Hmm… I wonder where they learned that? These were the parameters set by Ford in the Greines v Ford case in Los Angeles. My case! Its on the web.

If this test is so important and they can’t perform it on vehicles suffering from fire damage, then explain to me how a burned vehicle can have the same exact conclusion as an unburned vehicle? In other words, the didn’t or couldn’t perform the ignition wear test, or check the transponder system with foil, yet burned or not, they have the same exact conclusion.

Years ago these same firms removed the ignition lock, disassembled  the lock and examined the components under a microscope and took microscopic photos. No longer. Why bother? The jury doesn’t know the difference anyway.

Now, the ignition lock is almost never removed, no photos taken of the internal components of the lock, and we are supposed to take their word on what they purportedly observed inside the ignition lock.

See, they have gotten away with this non-sense because the jury was only looking at one exhibit for that specific vehicle, the report.

Interestingly, I have a better idea. What if the jury could see 5 or 10 reports from the same firm to compare to the report in question? I believe this would be devastating to the expert!

Trust me, you have not seen anything yet when conjecture is used as fact and I will be supplying that shortly.

Burned BMW Conviction


, , , ,

It has always amazed me as to how gullible people are. The insurance Certified Forensic Locksmith rendering an opinion as to how a reported stolen recovered totally burned vehicle was last driven is just one such example.

A report will be drafted as to how the anti theft system is designed as per the manufacturer service manual. That is all fine and good, but there is no way to interrogate the system. The examiner cannot determine how many keys are programmed for the system. Bypass of the transponder system cannot be determined.

Why? The computer is a tin box with printed circuity on plastic along with solder. A simple 400 degrees f. will melt the insides. The wiring has plastic coating and once that insulation is gone, all that is left is bare wiring.

Over 5 years ago I had a case in which I was hired as a consultant, but the guy ran out of money for me to go forward.

The vehicle was a BMW 3 series. It was recovered burning on the on ramp of an expressway. The vehicle had a smart key system ( no ignition lock) and push button start. The vehicle was recovered totally burned and the fire had traveled into the trunk. The computer on that vehicle was located in the trunk. The computer had suffered heat damage. However all the wiring had been destroyed from the dash rearward. There was no way to electronically interrogate the computer. The expert that the insurance company sent to examine the vehicle was a certified forensic locksmith. Why he was picked, I don’t know because this car did not have a conventional key or an ignition lock. Everything is electronic and they send a locksmith. He concluded that the vehicle was last driven with a key of the proper type. The insured was charged I believe with arson, insurance fraud and filing a false police report based on this so-called scientific analysis by the CFL. There was no science or specialty applied here. It was a deliberate hoax by this so-called expert.

As for the fire, the fire department for expediency said the fire started in the passenger compartment and was started with a match. I went to examine the vehicle that was stored at the auction. I was met by the investigator who in my opinion was a real jerk. He didn’t want me critiquing his buddy the CFL’s work.

The fire did not start in the passenger compartment. All evidence pointed to the driver’s side of the engine area. Of course this would make sense with a fuel line issue getting on the expressway. It’s not like a thief would wait around for help. Where it burned was not the ideal area for an arson. This vehicle had a whole slew of fuel line complaints under the hood!

The CFL wording in his report was deliberately meant to deceive. He stated the car was last driven with a key fob of the proper type. This wording is meant and it is taken that way by the investigator d the courts to believe this conclusion means the owner’s key.

It could have been a thief’s key fob as well.

At the time, I had an AK 400 key programmer. As a thief, I could program my own key fob for this vehicle in around a minute! Aren’t key programmers for a BMW expensive? Mine straight from China cost $350.00. Once done, the owner’s keys would no longer work. Mine would be the key fob to drive the car off.

That theory was never considered! It also could not be confirmed or denied.

The insured was convicted due to the CFL’s testimony. 6 months after the trial, there was a security video that went viral of a BMW being stolen and the thieves using what appeared to be like my AK 400 key programmer. It took them about 3 minutes for them to program their own key fob! The point being they were caught on tape stealing the vehicle.

A couple months after that, I had another type of case against the same insurance company. When the investigator found out about my involvement, he was kind enough to brag in an email that they convicted the owner of the BMW.

I told him his CFL was a hack and couldn’t factually prove anything. The only reason a jury convicted him, they did not know his expert was a fraud.

I then sent him the viral video I had obtained. He chose to not respond.

The problem is that the investigator had so much confidence in this expert, he was not going to admit he was wrong for trusting this expert.

Ex-cops are very proud and don’t like to be reminded how stupid they were.

1-866-490-1673  or 1-903-513-7808.