FBI being sued for crashing a Ferrari

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Etc., Government/Legal, Ferrari, Luxury

Ferrari F50

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice have landed themselves in hot water over the destruction of a Ferrari F50. According to The Detroit News, the vehicle was reported stolen from a dealership in Rosemont, Pennsylvania in 2003, and the dealer made and insurance claim for the sum of $750,000 at that time. Michigan-based Motors Insurance Corp. shelled out the cash, and in August 2008, the FBI recovered the vehicle in Kentucky. At that time, the FBI stored the vehicle while waiting to prosecute the thief, at least until someone at the bureau decided to use it for a little local arbor work.

The Ferrari F50 lost control and struck a tree with an FBI special agent behind the wheel in May of 2009, and Motors Insurance Corp. subsequently filed a claim to both the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice for the full $750,000. Both parties rejected the claim under the pretense that the Ferrari was being detained by the FBI at the time of the incident.

The insurance company then set about submitting Freedom of Information Act requests for documents pertaining to the storage, transportation and handling of the Italian exotic, most of which were denied under federal exemptions or outright ignored. The company did manage to get a hold of one email that said that U.S. Assistant Attorney J. Hamilton Thompson rode with Special Agent Frederick C. Kingston on the day of the accident and that the vehicle fishtailed and slid sideways shortly after leaving the FBI storage warehouse.

Motors Insurance Corp. is now suing both the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI to release the rest of the documents pertaining to the vehicle.

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: CarPhotoGuru]

FBI being sued for crashing a Ferrari originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Feb 2011 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Student finds GPS tracker stuck to car, FBI asks for it back

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety, Technology

GPS tracking deviceSo, now that we know it is legal for the FBI to place GPS trackers on cars without a warrant, the next logical question is, how often does it happen? We can’t say for sure, but the recent experience of 20-year-old U.S. student Yasir Afifi leads us to believe it’s taking place more often that we’d like to think.

Afifi, who is an American citizen born here in the States with an Egyptian father, brought his Lincoln LS sedan to a mechanic who put it up on a lift. There, underneath the car, was an odd cylindrical tube connected to a device with an antenna. It wasn’t a bomb, but it was a tracking device.

A friend took pictures of the device and put it up on the interwebs… which led to a gaggle of police officers and FBI agents showing up at Afifi’s apartment complex in California asking for their device back… sternly. “We’re going to make this much more difficult for you if you don’t cooperate.”

A tad worrisome, no? Says Afifi, “It seems very frightening that the FBI have placed a surveillance-tracking device on the car of a 20-year-old American citizen who has done nothing more than being half-Egyptian.” We agree… but it apparently doesn’t violate the 4th Amendment.

Turns out Afifi has nothing to worry about. “You’re boring,” said an unidentified agent. This is one of those rare cases where being boring is a rather good thing.

[Source: Wired via Engadget]

Report: Student finds GPS tracker stuck to car, FBI asks for it back originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Oct 2010 15:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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FBI reports car thefts at all-time low, but so are recoveries

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety

The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that car thefts in 2009 were at their lowest level in 20 years. Last year, a total of 794,616 vehicles were stolen from their owners – a 17 percent drop compared to 2008. Without a doubt, those numbers are good news for car owners across the country, but the FBI report isn’t all roses and sunshine. The government agency also says that while theft numbers are down, so is the number of vehicles recovered after they’re stolen.

Last year, authorities were able to return just 42 percent of all stolen vehicles. That number marks a 25 percent decline compared to 2008. The reason? Law enforcement says that thieves are getting smarter all the time, and that most acts of vehicle theft are perpetrated by professionals who are skilled at their trade. Experts recommend following the usual tricks to make sure you’re not a victim, including locking your vehicle, keeping valuables out of sight and parking it well-lit areas to make sure your vehicle doesn’t wind up on the short list of those stolen in 2010.

[Source: Consumer Reports | Image: Peter Dazeley/Getty]

FBI reports car thefts at all-time low, but so are recoveries originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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