Forensic Investigation of Stolen-Recovered and Other Crime-Related Vehicles

Forensic Investigation of Stolen-Recovered and Other Crime-Related Vehicles

1st Edition - February 10, 2006

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  • Authors: Eric Stauffer, Monica Bonfanti
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780120884865
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080477886

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Forensic Investigation of Stolen-Recovered and Other Crime-Related Vehicles provides unique and detailed insights into the investigations of one of the most common crime scenes in the world. In addition to a thorough treatment of auto theft, the book covers vehicles involved in other forms of crime—dealing extensively with the various procedures and dynamics of evidence as it might be left in any crime scene. An impressive collection of expert contributors covers a wide variety of subjects, including chapters on vehicle identification, examination of burned vehicles, vehicles recovered from under water, vehicles involved in terrorism, vehicle tracking, alarms, anti-theft systems, steering columns, and ignition locks. The book also covers such topics as victim and witness interviews, public and private auto theft investigations, detection of trace evidence and chemical traces, vehicle search techniques, analysis of automotive fluids, vehicle registration, document examination, and vehicle crime mapping. It is the ultimate reference guide for any auto theft investigator, crime scene technician, criminalist, police investigator, criminologist, or insurance adjuster.

Key Features

  • Extensively researched and exceptionally well-written by internationally-recognized experts in auto theft investigation and forensic science
  • All the principles explained in the text are well-illustrated and demonstrated with more than 450 black and white and about 100 full-color illustrations, many directly from real cases
  • Serves as both a valuable reference guide to the professional and an effective teaching tool for the forensic science student


Crime scene investigators, arson experts, insurance agents and agencies, forensic consultants, accident investigators and reconstructionists, law enforcement officials, Private Security Consultants, forensic engineers, and lawyers.

Table of Contents

  • 1 - The Problem of Auto-Theft
    Mikel Longman

    2 - Victim and Witness Interviews and Collection of Circumstantial Information
    Jean-François Chevalley
    Manuel Poza

    3 - General Crime Scene Considerations and Documentation
    Moira Johnson
    Simone Reynolds

    4 – Forensic Examination of Stolen-Recovered Vehicles
    Part I: Technical Examination and General Forensic Traces
    Marc Demierre
    Part II: Chemical Traces - Drugs, Explosives, and Gunshot Residue
    Francesco Saverio Romolo

    5 - Traces and their Evidentiary Values
    Éric Stauffer

    6 - Vehicle Identification
    William T. Smylie

    7 - Restoration of Serial Numbers
    Dr. Horst Katterwe

    8 - Anti-Theft Systems
    Robert F. Mangine

    9 - Examination of Steering Columns and Ignition Locks
    Robert F. Mangine

    10 - Examination of Vehicle Keys
    Emmanuel Fivaz
    Monica Bonfanti

    11 - Analysis of Vehicle Fluids
    Éric Stauffer

    12 - Examination of Burned Vehicles
    Éric Stauffer

    13 - Examination of Vehicles Recovered Underwater
    Jean-François Voillot

    14 - Examination of Vehicle License Plates
    Didier Brossier

    15 - Examination of Vehicle Registration Documents
    Diana Ombelli

    16 - Vehicle Searching Procedures
    Stéphane Kummer

    17 - Examination of Vehicles Involved in Terrorism
    Greg Terp

    18 - Investigation from the Public Side
    Greg Terp

    19 - Investigation from the Private Side
    Part I: The European Perspective
    Marc Stauffer
    Part II: The US Perspective
    Glenn Wheeler

    20 - Vehicle Tracking
    Greg Terp

    21 - Vehicle Crime Mapping
    Jerry Ratcliffe

    22 - International Collaboration Through Interpol
    Alain G. Barbier

Product details

  • No. of pages: 632
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2006
  • Published: February 10, 2006
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780120884865
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080477886

About the Authors

Eric Stauffer

Eric Stauffer is a criminalist presently living in Switzerland. In 1998 he obtained his Master-equivalent degree in forensic sciences from the Institut de Police Scientifique et de Criminologie at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. In 1999 he moved to the United States and, two years later, obtained another Master’s degree in forensic sciences from Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Mr. Stauffer is certified as a Diplomate and a Fellow of the American Board of Criminalistics, with a specialty in the area of fire debris analysis. He is also a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) and a Certified Fire Investigation Instructor (CFII) both from the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI).

During his early career as a criminalist, Mr. Stauffer worked as a crime scene officer and a firearms and toolmarks examiner. In 2001, he moved to Atlanta and joined the private sector as a fire investigator and fire debris analyst. As such, his duties involved the investigation of numerous residential, commercial, and vehicle fire scenes to determine their origin and cause and, at the laboratory, the examination of fire debris samples for ignitable liquid residues. In 2006, he moved back to Switzerland to conduct research in forensic sciences, notably in fingermark enhancement techniques and fire investigation. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the School of Criminal Sciences at the University of Lausanne.

From 2003 to 2006, Mr. Stauffer was Chair of the Fire Laboratory Standards and Protocols committee of the Scientific Working Group on Fire and Explosives (SWGFEX). He also served as a subject matter expert for the development of the fire debris validation kit produced by the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC).

Mr. Stauffer is a recognized speaker and instructor in the field of forensic sciences and, more particularly, in fire investigation and fire debris analysis.

Affiliations and Expertise

School of Criminal Sciences, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

Monica Bonfanti

Affiliations and Expertise

Technical Head, Forensic Services, Geneva State Police, Switzerland

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