Automotive Expert Witness On Stolen Vehicles

Ever wonder and/or worry about what would happen if your car was stolen? Rob Painter, forensic locksmith, automotive expert witness, and principal of Rob Painter & Associates, can tell you. He writes:

It’s a common occurrence especially now with the factory anti-theft systems for the insurance company to assign an examination of the reported stolen vehicle to a forensic locksmith. His purpose is to check for forced entry and to determine if the vehicle was key operated last. They will assemble what they call a “Forensic Report” on the vehicle and will commonly use general statements like “The last time the vehicle was operated was with a key of the proper type.”

Sounds good, but let’s look at this in further depth. “Proper type” could be anything that will operate the lock. It could be a pick, a duplicate key or no key at all. The reason the term “proper” is used is that I believe this does not lock the forensic locksmith into an exact statement, although the terminology infers the last time the vehicle was operated was with nothing other than the insured’s key. Now if the scientific process was used and all hypotheses have been eliminated, the examiner should be able to state that the last time the vehicle operated under its own power was with a key of exacting cuts coinciding with the ignition lock cylinder.

More to come from Mr. Painter,