Auto Theft Prevention/Ignition


I am looking into the theft/fire of a 2014 Nissan Sentra.  Is this a vehicle that has an ignition that can be defeated and driven without a key?  Thank you.


There are many things that have to be ruled out and you tell me it is burned. You did not state the extent of the burn and I can only assume the interior is destroyed.
First of all, in spite of what the super duper forensic locksmiths will tell you using their crystal balls, you will hear that these transponder vehicles are impossible to steal.
However when serving as locksmiths for the public and the owner loses their key, they are dispatched to the car. They enter the vehicle within a minute and they did not even throw a brick three t h e window.
There are various ways to get the key cut code. Either supplying a VIN to a dealer or reading the cuts in a do or lock in less than 60 seconds. A key blank is cut. Once cut, put into the the ignition and having a key programmer, a new key can be programmed in a couple of minutes. The forensic locksmith will opine that a thief would have to get a key blank for the vehicle from a locksmith or dealer. That in itself is not true. Keys and programmers are available to anyone on the internet. In fact, many Nissan key cut codes are on the internet!
These so called anti theft systems from the factory are anticipated by design.
An argument is commonly made that a thief would not spend thousands of dollars to take a specific car. That is crap too! There is a Chinese version of an after market programmer that costs as little as $125.00. That programmer makes keys for Nissans, Toyota's, Ford's and other vehicles. Having one of these programers can make transponder keys for a variety of years,makes and models.

It takes about 3 years from the drawing board to the production line.

Since you are dealing with a burned vehicle, all electronic evidence is destroyed by fire. It cannot be determined as to how many keys were programmed to operate the vehicle.
If anyone had access to the keys with a key closer, they can make an electronic copy of the k eyes in less than 60 seconds! A cloned key does not show up on the vehicles computer as an additional programmed key.

Now, the deceptive forensic locksmith may recover the remains of the ignition lock and say the vehicle was last driven with a key of the proper type. If not burned, the computer should be interrogated, but burned, that step cannot be confirmed. In essence, steps are skipped and the same conclusion is rendered based on the ignition.
I have seen in which these goofs don't clean the lock wagers (tumblers), yet will take macro photos of these components with burn debris and show them to a jury. The jury is left in awe because they are not aware they are being played. How can one see situations underneath a burned crust! The jury doesn't know any better, unless I am there to point this out.
Key of the proper type is deliberately meant to appear as though the proper key is the insured's. This is very far from the truth! Last key used can only be determined if the examiner finds the key in the ignition at the time of the exam!
Key of the proper type is a key that will operate the ignition and start the engine. However, there is no specifics from these experts. Was the car drive with the insured's first key, second key? A thief's key?
They are supposed to be the forensic experts and all they can do is give us general one size fits all answers to accuse the insured of driving the car last?

There a also another problem. The carrier will assume the car was driven from the theft scene. Most times, this is a guess and towing, pulling or pushing are not considered. Let's say the car was towed. No ignition damage is required.
I hear so often in which investigators state to the insured that things don't burn cars.
All these statements about what a thief would do really have no basis unless the investigator can read the mind of that specific thief. I have examined reported stolen vehicles recovered burned that were used in crimes. Drive by shootings, burglaries and robberies. Instead, since investigators are trained these vehicles are impossible to steal and they can't be stolen, they are not investigated as a theft and by default the claim is fraud.
They contact a forensic locksmith with the assumption as fact the car was driven.
We don't know what happened to cause the fire. Commonly arson, but we don't know why and who did it. Was the car parked in a "cool off" area because of a potential tracking system? That happens! Was it in a gang infested area where they burned the car for fun?
Instead, from the 90s it is assumed to be insurance fraud. Maybe it is maybe it isn't.

I just finished a report rebutting a forensic locksmith that opined the stolen vehicle was last driven with a key. OK, one minor problem-- vehicle not recovered. No physical evidence and he comes up with that opinion?

This is the problem with burned vehicles. You can have all the suspicions you want, but rely on no one that tells you they can determine the last key used. Who knows?, I might be representing the insured as an expert.


Auto Theft Prevention

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Rob Painter, ASE, CFL, CFEI


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.


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: elec.....

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