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Vehicle Arson Awareness Program Presented by NYACT and NICB

With the growing complexity of today's vehicles, fire/arson investigators need specialized knowledge to accurately investigate and determine the origin and cause of vehicle fires. This program provides hands-on training and practical and technical skills that investigators can immediately use in investigations.

On Oct. 7, 2021, The New York Anti Car Theft and Fraud Association (NYACT), along with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), was proud to partner with the NYS Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services, Fire Prevention & Control-Academy of Fire Science on a Vehicle Arson Awareness Program for members of law enforcement, fire services, and insurance company investigators.  Attendees included representatives from over 14 agencies (NY State, regional & local) and insurance companies.

This Arson Awareness training educates law enforcement, fire service investigators and insurance investigators in identifying potential arson fires involving motor vehicles. The identification of these suspicious fires early on in a vehicle fire investigation assists law enforcement in potential criminal prosecutions and also assists the insurance industry by identifying questionable vehicle fire claims for thorough investigations by their claims handlers and SIU, resulting in potential savings on fraudulent insurance claims. The program has been conducted all over New York State from Suffolk County to Buffalo, providing classroom and live demonstrations of auto-related arson scenarios for over 10 years due to the success of the program. Through the years, over 1,000 students have attended this VAAP program.

Two programs will be scheduled in 2022.

TravelersAllstate, and NYCM provided vehicles for this program, and Copart donated the towing of two cars to the facility. The Saratoga County Office of Emergency Services provided the venue for the training.

 The New York Anti Car Theft and Fraud Association (NYACT) is New York's association founded to provide training for insurance and law enforcement personnel to combat vehicle crime and insurance fraud. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is the nation's premier not-for-profit organization dedicated exclusively to fighting insurance fraud and crime.

NYACT Director Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

In 30 years at DMV, Owen McShane has focused on auto theft, fraud detection and identity theft


ALBANY, N.Y., September 9, 2021 (Newswire.com) - Owen McShane, The New York Anti Car Theft and Fraud Association Board of Director and Director of Field Investigations for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, is the recipient of the 2021 Lifetime Achievement in Highway Safety Award from the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).

"Owen McShane is one of our most valued members on the NYACT Board of Directors," said Nichole Soriano, NYACT Chair. "If his hard work and dedication on our Board is of any indication, this outstanding recognition couldn't be more well-deserved."

McShane has been conducting training for NYACT since 1994 and was elected to the Board in 2000. Soriano added, "NYACT's members have greatly benefited from his expertise and knowledge of auto theft and fraud. His resourcefulness in providing training himself, as well as bringing top speakers to our events to educate law enforcement and insurance investigators has been extremely effective. This honor recognizes his many years of commitment to combating fraud, and we appreciate his work at NYS DMV and with us at NYACT."

The Division of Field Investigation is the criminal investigative branch of DMV and consists of 140 employees including 100 sworn investigators. The primary mission of the division is to conduct investigations related to auto theft, identity theft, odometer fraud and the use of fraudulent or altered documents.

When first hired by DMV as an investigator, McShane was assigned to address a surge of auto thefts in New York City. At the time, some 140,000 cars a year were being stolen. In 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, that number had been reduced to 7,000 a year.

A DMV Director since 2003, McShane began his career with the agency as an Investigator in 1991. During his tenure, McShane has held every investigative position in the unit, from entry-level investigator, senior investigator, regional supervisor to chief investigator and finally director.

"I like making a difference, and I feel like we provide an extra layer of protection to the citizens of New York," McShane said.

In addition to his position at DMV, McShane also serves as an adjunct professor at the University at Albany College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, where he developed and taught new graduate and undergraduate courses in biometrics. He previously served as an adjunct professor at the Sage Colleges in Albany.