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Rob Painter, ASE, CFL, CFEI


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My background in auto theft is extensive. I have been directly involved in the repair of over 10,000 theft recovered vehicles. I also do insurance investigation as to how a vehicle was last operated. My clients are insurance companies and attorneys. Was featured in the A & E auto theft documentary "Stealing Wheels" July 26, 2000. Has consulted with Daimler Chrysler steering column engineers to make their steering columns harder to defeat. Holds patent # 6,039,140 for 8 different variations to protect air bags from theft.

Experience in the area

ROB PAINTER, ASE, CFL, CFEI Forensic Vehicle Component Analyst Diplomate, Board Certified Forensic Examiner ASE Certified Auto, Collision, Med/Hvy/Duty Truck Technician Certified Forensic Locksmith Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator Certified Forensic Auto Theft Examiner Certified Auto Theft and Fraud Expert P.O. Box 190 Big Bend, WI 53103 Phone (414) 698-9696 Fax (262) 662-1352 As per federal court rules of evidence (702) (Daubert) my testimony has qualified me as: Auto Theft and Fraud Expert Forensic Vehicle Analyst Fire Origin and Cause Expert In the trial transcript of Holiday vs Progressive Insurance Company (March 12, 2002?Eugene, Oregon) with Holiday being my client-named ?the expert for experts.? BUSINESS EXPERIENCE Founder of the ?Forensic Institute of Auto Theft Analysis? (January 2002). This is the training school that will set the standards in determining the last operation of a reported stolen vehicle-burned or unburned. Much of my testing and procedures have been accepted as the guide for the forensic community. 1986 opened Auto Recovery Specialists Inc., providing exclusive repair of theft recovered and vandalized vehicles. The initial concept of the business was to return vehicles to their original shape before the theft, vandalism or fire. In 1987 bought the rights to the theft deterrent known as the ?Chicago Collar?. Duties include complete component replacement: dash, stereo system, interior, locks and coding, rebuilding steering columns, repairing and installing vehicle security system components (factory and after market), engine components, body repair, glass replacement, repair and service of air conditioning components, brake and suspension repair, and replacement, wiring harnesses etc. to return vehicle to pre-theft condition Complete reconstruction. During the past 17 years directly involved in the repair of over 10,000 theft-recovered and fire damaged Personally examined and rebuilt thousands of steering columns on both import and domestic vehicles Internationally acknowledged as expert in auto theft including court, consulting with insurance companies, attorneys and law enforcement. Consultant on steering columns, locks, stereo systems and vehicle security for Special Investigation Units for many large insurance carriers during the past eight years. Consulting services include but not limited to: How a vehicle was last operated (with or without keys in burned or unburned vehicles), Origin and Cause of vehicle fires, and vehicle defects. Provides services as a consultant and researcher to attorneys and insurance companies, and private industry throughout the US in cases related to vehicles. Has worked with crime prevention officers throughout the US establishing training programs designed to protect the public from becoming victims of auto theft. PATENT: 3/21/00 issued patent# 6,039,140 for 8 different variations of airbag anti-theft devices. PUBLICATIONS Currently authors articles and test reports on an ongoing basis for SIUs and the forensic/vehicle fire industry.  Published author: (1,297 slide training course) Auto Theft/ Fraud Training Course) ?The Modern Forensic Approach to Auto Theft Investigation.? (January, 2001)  Author: ?Variables to Be Considered In Vehicle Fire Investigation after Suppression.? (Insurance publication-November 2001)  Author: ?Ford Magnesium Steering Columns and the Results to Ignition Components after a Fire?. Article for peer review from the fire and forensic community. (November 2001)  Author: ?The Truth About GM VATS.? (Article) (November 2001)  Author: ?The Truth About GM PASSLOCK TM? (Article) (November 2001)  Author:? Auto Theft Investigation: Hollywood vs. Reality? (Article) (February 2001) For the John Cooke Fraud Report.  Published author: (Manual) ?Forensic Vehicle Fire/ Arson and Auto Theft Investigation? (October 2000)  Published author: (Article) ?Petty Claims? for the John Cooke Fraud Report (October, 1998)  Published author (Manual) ?AUTO THEFT: LET THE TRUTH BE KNOWN!? (1998) (Previously distributed by Barnes & Nobel)  Co-authored the investigation manual, ?Surreptitious Entry & Auto Theft & Burn & the Investigator.? (1999)  Authored test questions on the subject of steering columns and vehicle security for CFL designation to be given by the International Association of Investigative Locksmiths. January, 2000  Published author: (Manual) ?Saginaw Steering Columns-What Has Not Been Told? Training manual for fire investigators. (March 2000)  Published (Article) ?Beyond The Lock? (May 2000)  Published Author: (Article) Fraud Defense Network-August, 2000 Edition-?Melting Steering Column Tests.?  Published author: (Test Report) ?Burned Toyota Steering Column Testing to Determine How Last Operated?. Tool marks and procedures. (December 1999) Currently at the FBI Crime Lab in Washington DC and the US Army Crime Lab in Atlanta, GA for peer review. ACCOMPLISHMENTS  Defeated the ?unstealable? Ford Securilock transponder system for a court case 10/10/00. They said it could not be done!  Primary designer of a state of the art ?bait? car for a police department to catch car thieves.  Worked with The National Highway Safety Transportation Administration and discovered a potential fire hazard on a vehicle and determined origin and cause of under hood fires on this type of vehicle.  Featured as ?Auto Theft Expert? in the A & E auto theft documentary ?Stealing Wheels? that aired July 26, 2000.  Contacted by Sears and Edelman Marketing to be a national spokesman for an anti theft device for vehicles. (November 1999)  Invited to provide evaluation and consulting to steering column engineers at Daimler Chrysler Corporation in Auburn Hills, MI (10/19/99-10/22/99). The purpose of this project was to demonstrate how steering column locking mechanisms could be defeated without the use of a key and how to reinforce the columns against theft.  Court Qualified as an Auto Theft Expert and my videos of defeating columns were also accepted by a Cleveland, Ohio Court in October 1999 as a valid piece of evidence.  Contacted by Disney Touchstone Pictures for technical assistance in making the movie ?Gone in 60 Seconds? (March 1999) CONSULTANT FOR FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS ? Former contributor for The Insurance News Network (Auto theft and prevention) includes heading a forum for the public on how to protect their vehicles for 3+ years. ? Former editor and consultant for the public on matters involving auto theft and prevention 2000-2001 on the web at ? The Insurance Career Center (Auto theft and fraud). ? National Association of Investigative Specialists (Auto theft and fraud) ? Expert Find (Auto theft and fraud} TECHNICAL EXPERIENCE ? ASE (National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence) Certified in Auto: brakes, steering and suspension, engine repair, manual drive train and axles, air conditioning. Med/Heavy duty truck: gasoline engine repair, electrical/electronic components. Collision: electric/electronic components. ? SCRS (Society of Collision Repair Specialists) certified in air bags. ? ICAR (Inter-Industry Conference of Auto Collision Repair) trained. EDUCATION ? American College of Forensic Examiners ? Racine, WI Vocational School ? Moraine Park Technical School ? Milwaukee Area Technical School ? General Motors Factory School ? AC Delco School ? Harnischfeger Corporation PREVIOUS TECHNICAL EXPERIENCE ? 1974-1986 Auto technician and management for Oldsmobile dealerships full time or part time, on and off for those years. ? 1976-1984-Harnishfeger Corp. (Mining Manufacturer) Expeditor, Assembly, Machinist, heat treat and non-destructive testing: Ultra Sonic Testing, Magnetic Particle Testing. ADDITIONAL TRAINING ? IAIL (International Association Of Investigative Locksmiths) Atlantic City, New Jersey (June 2002) ? IAAI (International Association of Arson Investigators) (5 day seminar)- Milwaukee, WI (May 2002) ? NCRC/ IAATI (International Association of Auto Theft Investigators) Auto Theft Seminar (4 days)- Indianapolis, IN (May 2002) ? National Association of Professional Insurance Investigators.-November 2001-Cincinatti, Ohio ? Electrical Fire Investigation- Public Agency Training Council- Brown Deer, WI (August 2000) ? Insurance Fraud Seminar ?SCIFI- Columbia SC (November 1999) ? Forensic Locksmithing-ALOA- Cincinnati (July 1999) ? Bomb and Explosion Seminar -Public Agency Training Council-Racine, WI PD (April 1999) ? Arson Seminar Public Agency Training Council- Racine, WI PD- (April 1999) ? Fire Investigation Training Seminar -Myrtle Beach S.C. (October 1998) ? Public Agency Training Council-Electrical Fire Investigation (August 1998) ? AVCAW Vehicle Fire Seminar-also taught Plover WI. (May 1997) ? Vehicle fire training seminar-Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (October 1997) ? AVCAW fraud seminar-also spoke Wisconsin Dells, WI (November1997) SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS ? Auto Theft Methods/ Locks and Columns?American Ambassador-Itasca, IL (April 2002) ? Forensic Report Writing Seminar- Illinois Chapter of Special Investigation Units- (January 2002-Schaumberg, IL) o Auto Theft and Fraud Seminar- American Express Insurance Company- (June, 2001-Greenbay, WI) o Auto Theft and Fraud Seminar-(May 2001-NCRC- Iowa) ? Auto Theft/Fraud/Vehicle Fires. San Antonio, TX (November, 2000) This seminar was for continuing DOJ Education. ? ATLA- (Trial Lawyers) Steering columns and locks. Indianapolis, IN (June, 2000) ? IAAI (International Association of Arson Investigators-Florida Chapter) Advanced Vehicle Fire and lock investigations. Tallahassee FL. (June, 2000) ? IAIL (International Association of Investigative Locksmiths) Steering columns and locks. Egg Harbor, NJ (May 2000) ? SCLA (South Carolina Locksmiths Association) Steering columns and locks. Columbia, SC (April 2000) ? Baltimore County Regional Auto Theft Team Subject: Auto theft Baltimore, MD (March, 2000) ? Speaker for Daimler Chrysler Corporation Topic: How to increase security in their vehicles. (October 1999}  Guest speaker at two seminars for AVCAW (Anti-Vehicle Crime Association of Wisconsin) composed of law enforcement and insurance personnel. Topic: ?What to look for in auto theft? (October 1995).  Speaker for IAATI (International Association of Auto Theft Investigators) for 300 law enforcement and insurance personnel on steering columns and locks. (May 1996)  Speaker for State Farm field damage appraisers on how to detect fraud in an auto theft claim. (July 1996)  Speaker for the Sentry Insurance claims office in Stevens Point, WI to train adjusters on what to look for in a fraud claim. (Sept. 1996) MEMBERSHIPS ? ALOA Associated Locksmiths Of America ? IAFATE International Association of Auto Theft Examiners ? FATIU Florida Auto Theft Intelligence Unit ? IAAI International Association of Arson Investigators (Multiple chapter membership) ? IAIL International Association of Investigative Locksmiths ? IAATI International Association of Auto Theft Investigators ? NCRC North Central Regional Chapter of IAATI ? IATN International Automotive Technicians Network ? NAIS National Association of Investigative Specialists ? SCIFI South Carolina Insurance Fraud Investigators ? ACFE American College of Forensic Examiners ? NAFI National Association of Fire Investigators

What do you like about this subject?

I have lived and breathed the subject of auto theft for over 17 years. Things are the same and yet they are different. My forensic tests and studies take me into a mystery that must be solved. I work many totally burned vehicles to determine if the steering column was last operated with a key. This is just a puzzle waiting to be solved.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

I am learning every day.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Methods of theft like those depicted in the movies are not close to real. Vehicles with locking steering columns are rarely "hot wired". Many vehicles can be stolen in less than 60 seconds and commonly doing no damage to the internal components of the lock cylinder.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

I have run across examiners that actually infer that the last key used to operate a vehicle was the insured's, even in totally burned and melted vehicles! THIS CANNOT BE DONE in many of these cases. I am considered very controversial in my field. I do not have a problem forcing the opposing expert to prove his conclusions.

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Jason04/27/16101010Thanks for the advice. Will start there .....
Steve02/17/16101010Even though Rob has not answered my .....
greg11/09/15101010thanks rob for the informative replys. as .....

Recent Answers from Rob Painter, ASE, CFL, CFEI

2016-08-18 2004 Silverado pass lock:

Hi,    Yes, I can help and it costs you nothing to fix.  There are 10 different codes built into the ignition housing. Changing the colon gives you a one in 10 odds that the computer will see the rotation

2016-07-24 say::

Hello,    As you addressed your question you stated your vehicle was a 199 expedition and no chip in key. That statement is factually incorrect, because the 1997 expedition was the first SUV to have the

2016-07-21 say::

Hello,    What makes you think the engine will start with ).chpped key?  You say you finally removed the ignition lock. What did you break,? Commonly with inexperienced doing this, they break the magnesium

2016-07-04 're:2009 stolen suburban:

Hi,    There are a lot of issues in questions here, but what you are going through is quite common.  I want it known that I am not anti insurance company, because there are a lot of fraud claims out there

2016-04-27 ignition switch:

Hello,    The absolute first thing I would check is make darn sure the vehicle is in park. When these vehicles get older from use, it is extremely common for the park lock cable to shred. There is a steel


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