AUTO THEFT ADVISORY COMMITTEE (A.T.A.C.)
ORANGE COUNTY VEHICLE THEFT
2012 RECOVERY OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARDS PRESENTATION BRUNCH
Sponsored by the Orange County Auto Theft Advisory Committee (A.T.A.C.), a partnership between law enforcement, insurance, and other auto related companies to reduce auto theft. A.T.A.C. is a subcommittee of the Western States Auto Theft Investigators Association, Southern Chapter.

23rd Annual Awards Presentation Brunch

Thursday, May 9, 2013 9:00 a.m. - The Irvine Marriott Hotel

Those participating included:
Pledge of Allegiance: Irvine Police Department Honor Guard
Lieutenant Brian Lee, CHP Border / OCATT
Invocation: Chaplain Kathleen Kooiman, Orange County Sheriff's Department
Introduction: Lieutenant Brian Lee, CHP Border / OCATT
Master of Ceremonies: Mr. Pat Haslam, KNX 1070 Radio / KOCE "Real Orange" Reporter
Guest Speaker:  Mr. Tony Rackauckas, Orange County District Attorney
Presentation of Awards: Lieutenant Brian Lee, CHP Border / OCATT 
Mr. Tim Jackson, Western States Auto Theft Investigators Association
                               Automobile Club of Southern California
Special Presentation: Mr. Sean Taylor, Orange County Automobile Dealers Association
Mr. Ted Saraf, LoJack Corporation
Irvine Police Department Honor GuardATAC Chairperson CHP Border Lieutenant Brian Lee introduced the Irvine Police Department Honor Guard who presented the United States and California flags on the front stage.  Lieutenant Lee led the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Lieutenant Lee then introduced Orange County Sheriff's Department Chaplain Kathleen Kooiman who gave the invocation. 

Lieutenant Lee then explained that ATAC was a subcommittee of the Western States Auto Theft Investigators (WSATI) Association, allowing ATAC to provide donors with the benefits of a non-profit organization. 

Lieutenant Lee spoke about the changes that took place in this year's selection process.  Lieutenant Lee said that significant pro-active contributions by officers to reduce auto theft, combined with a higher emphasis on "rolling stolens" and significant case highlights were the elements of the criteria to be considered. 

ATAC Chairperson Lieutentant Brian LeeLieutenant Lee then introduced the Master of Ceremonies Pat Haslam.  Mr. Haslam has been the voice of Orange County ATAC for the past 23 years.  Mr. Haslam gave an opening address and then welcomed everyone to avail themselves of the breakfast buffet. 

After the brunch, Pat Haslam then introduced Mr. Ted Saraf, Law Enforcement Liaison for LoJack Corporation (North Orange County / Los Angeles Area).  Ted invited Efrain Quesada, Law Enforcement Liaison for LoJack (South Orange County / San Diego Area) to join him on the stage.  Efrain and Ted conducted the drawing of tickets for a LoJack Security unit.  LoJack donated a LoJack tracking unit to A.T.A.C. to be given as a door prize for attending the event. Mr. Quesada drew the ticket the winner of the LoJack. 

Guest Speaker, Orange County District Attorney Tony RackauckasPat Haslam introduced the Chiefs, Deputy Chiefs, Assistant Sheriff, Captains, Commanders, and dignitaries who were in attendance. 

Pat Haslam then introduced the guest speaker, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.  Mr. Rackauckas spoke about the use of DNA and evidence for analysis to be run not only local, state, but federal systems.  Mr. Rackauckas emphasized the importance of what the recipients of the ATAC Awards have done to help their communities in reducing auto theft. 

Master of Ceremonies Pat HaslamPat Haslam then announced the Orange County 2012 Recovery Officer of the Year Recipients as Lieutenant Brian Lee and WSATI Southern Chapter Vice President / Automobile Club of Southern California Auto Theft Manager Tim Jackson presented the numerous award plaques and recognition certificates to each of the winners. 

Orange County Automobile Dealers Association Members Services Manage Mr. Sean Taylor made a presentation to the top five officers recognized during the awards presentation, a check for $200 in the name of the top five recipients for the Orange County Boys and Girls Club in their respective cities. 

This year's recipients were (by agency):


ORANGE COUNTY 2012 RECOVERY OFFICER OF THE YEAR RECIPIENTS:
Anaheim Police Department Officer Daniel Lambaren
Brea Police Department Corporal Chris Harvey
Buena Park Police Department Officer Tom Carney
California Highway Patrol - Capistrano Area Officer Matthew Butler
California Highway Patrol - Santa Ana Area Officer Aaron D'Aoust
California Highway Patrol - Westminster Area Officer Sean Taketa
Cal State University Fullerton Police Department Officer Jason Miller
Costa Mesa Police Department Officer Hans-Walter Guenther
Cypress Police Department Chose Not to Participate
Fountain Valley Police Department Officer Brian Mosher
Fullerton Police Department Officer James Boline
Garden Grove Police Department Officer Jose Herrera
Huntington Beach Police Department Officer Michael Dexter
Irvine Police Department Officer Blake Reutershan
Laguna Beach Police Department Officer James Michaud
La Habra Police Department Officer Justin Bender
La Palma Police Department Officer Tom Osendorf
Los Alamitos Police Department Officer Samantha Mathias
Newport Beach Police Department Officer Robert Bennett
Orange County Sheriff's Department - Dana Point Deputy Mario Saldivar
Orange County Sheriff's Department - Lake Forest Deputy Matthew LeFlore
Orange County Sheriff's Department - Santa Ana Deputy Gerard "Gerry" McCann
Orange County Sheriff's Department - Stanton Deputy Isaac Flores
Orange Police Department Officer Armando Plascencia
Officer Martin Suarez
Placentia Police Department Officer Rubia Rivas
Santa Ana Police Department Officer Bob Guidry
Seal Beach Police Department Officer Chris Hendrix
Tustin Police Department Officer Thomas Lomeli
University of California Irvine Police Department Officer Justin Brophy
Westminster Police Department Officer Daniel McCarthy
Each of the Officers and Deputies listed above were honored for recovering the most stolen vehicles at their agencies during 2012.  In 2012, these 30 officers, representing almost every law enforcement agency in Orange County, arrested a total of 106 vehicle theft suspects, and recovered 232 vehicles exceeding a value of $1.7 million dollars!

The Top Five Honorees were: 

Officer Tom Carney of the Buena Park Police Department was honored as the Officer recovering the most stolen vehicles throughout the entire county, 29 vehicles, including 10 "rolling stolens," resulting in 14 arrests, with a recovery value of $247,000.  Officer Carney has been a police officer for 13 years.  Year after year he has been proactive and on the top list for recovered stolen vehicles.  In fact Officer Carney has led the County in stolen vehicle recoveries 4 previous times (2010, 2006, 2004, 2003).  Most of Officer Carney's ten rolling stolens have resulted in high speed pursuits, traveling through numerous cities and involving several agencies.  Officer Carney maintains his professional driving and demeanor on the radio until the perpetrator makes his first mistake and the pursuit comes to an end.  It should also be noted that many agencies have obtained License Plate Reader (LPR) systems that help with the recoveries of stolen vehicles, however Officer Carney has chosen not to use LPR equipped patrol units and relies on his own gut instincts.  Suspects have become aware of the LPR systems which have led to the increase in "cold plated" stolens.  This has not deterred Officer Carney however, as 3 of his recovered stolen cars, were cold plated.  According to those who know him well, he is a magnet for stolen vehicles and can't seem to avoid them.  Even when he is investigating an unrelated crime, he still seems to find a stolen car.  Officer Carney was presented with a check for the Orange County Boys and Girls Club of Buena Park, by Sean Taylor, Members Services Manager of the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.  Buena Park Police Department Chief Corey Sianez was then called back to the podium to receive the Perpetual Winner's Award that goes to the Top Officer's Department to be displayed until next year's Awards Ceremony. 

Officer Jose Herrera of the Garden Grove Police Department was honored as the Officer recovering the second most stolen vehicles in the county, recovering 17 stolen vehicles, including 12 "rolling stolens," resulting in 15 arrests, with a recovery value of $120,000.  Officer Herrera was presented with a check for the Orange County Boys and Girls Club of Garden Grove, by Sean Taylor, Members Services Manager of the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association. 

There was a tie for Third place.

Officer Bob Guidry of the Santa Ana Police Department was honored as the Officer recovering the third most stolen vehicles throughout the county, recovering 16 stolen vehicles, including 6 "rolling stolens," resulting in 9 arrests with an estimated recovery value of $127,000.  During 2012, 3 officers were recognized for their commitment to duty and their efforts in recovering stolen vehicles.  Officer Guidry had the most arrests in the department and is a leader in the field.  Officer Guidry was presented with a check for the Orange County Boys and Girls Club of Santa Ana, by Sean Taylor, Members Services Manager of the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association. 

Officer Daniel Lambaren of the Anaheim Police Department was honored as the Officer recovering the third most stolen vehicles in the county, recovering 16 stolen vehicles, resulting in 12 arrests.  Six of these recovered stolens were located by Officer Lambaren by patrolling various neighborhoods.  All six were occupied and resulted in short pursuits.  Officer Lambaren located an additional 10 unoccupied stolen vehicles throughout the city.  Officer Lambaren has taken a proactive approach and active searched crime neighborhoods.  Not only does Officer Lambaren take pride in apprehending car thieves, he enjoys returning these vehicles back to their owners.   Officer Lambaren was presented with a check for the Orange County Boys and Girls Club of Anaheim, by Sean Taylor, Members Services Manager of the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association. 

Officer Daniel McCarthy of the Westminster Police Department, was honored as the Officer recovering the fourth most stolen vehicles in the county, recovering 30 stolen vehicles, including 3 "rolling stolens," making 4 arrests, resulting the recovery value of $114,000.   In one instance, a patrol check in a high crime motel parking lot lead to a recovery and arrest.  The arrestee was a methamphetamine user, and was in possession of brass knuckles and a throwing star.  It was determined the vehicle had been subplated, partially stripped, and stolen computers were found hidden in the trunk.  Ultimately, a confession revealed he was recruited by a local gang to steal cars for money.  Officer McCarthy was presented with a check for the Orange County Boys and Girls Club of Westminster, by Sean Taylor, Members Services Manager of the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association. 

2012 Orange County ATAC Recovery Officer of the Year Recipients
ATAC also recognized two additional officers for their efforts, presenting them with Honorable Mention plaques. 

Fullerton Police Department Officer James Boline was recognized for his diligence.  On May 29, 2012, Officer Boline and his canine partner Blitz were on patrol in Fullerton when Officer Boline saw a green 1990s Honda Accord traveling northbound on Euclid Ave. at Valencia Dr.  Officer Boline knew that mid 90s Honda Accords are a popular model for auto thieves so he made a U-turn and ran the license plate which returned to a 2003 Ford.  As Officer Boline proceeded behind the suspected stolen vehicle, the driver began slowing, looking for the right opportunity to flee on foot.  Once a back-up officer arrived, Officer Boline initiated a car stop and a pursuit ensued.  The suspect then stopped and exited the stolen car, disobeyed all commands, and then ran.  Officer Boline and Blitz gave chase.  Blitz apprehended the suspect by his legs as he tried to enter an apartment complex.  The suspect began striking Blitz multiple times to the head, but Blitz maintained control of the suspect as Officer Boline arrived.  The suspect was so violent, he pulled the jaws of Blitz apart in an effort to injure Blitz and get him to release his bite.  With help from an additional officer, the arrest was completed.  The documented gang member was arrested for auto theft, possession of a switch blade knife, methamphetamine, and heroin.  This is an example of the excellent police work performed by Officer Boline and his canine partner Blitz.

It should be noted, that tragically on March 17, 2013, Officer Boline was shot multiple times during a traffic stop of two parolees in Fullerton.  It was not anticipated that Officer Boline would be able to attend the ATAC Awards Program as he was still recovering from his wounds.  Officer Boline, not fully recovered, attended the awards program where he was welcomed with a standing ovation.

Costa Mesa Police Department Officer Hans-Walter Guenther was recognized for his diligence.  Officer Guenther recovered a total of 18 vehicles, including 3 "rolling stolen" vehicles in 2011, and arrested 5 suspects for vehicle theft.  His proactive enforcement and assertive patrol tactics has helped suppress the rate of auto thefts in his city.  He is highly respected by his peers and supervisors for his initiative and strong work ethic.  His communication and liaison with auto theft investigators has helped combat this ongoing problem.  On June 10, 2012 he recovered 2 stolen vehicles during one of his assigned shifts.  Both vehicles (Range Rovers) were stolen from the State of New Jersey and had a combined value of $100,000.  The suspects involved switched the VINs and created false titles before transporting both vehicles to the West Coast where they were advertised for sale.  An innocent buyer on the West Coast with extensive knowledge about Range Rovers, inquired about the purchase.  Officer Guenther took control of this investigation, arranged surveillance and monitored the suspects' activity.  After establishing the safety of all parties involved, he initiated the arrest and recovered both vehicles without further incident. 

Mr. Haslam then introduced and thanked the Orange County Auto Theft Advisory Committee members who put together the awards presentation; Mr. Keith Levin, Mr. Tim Jackson, Ms. Martha Jones-Joseph, and Ms. Geraldine Ward of the Automobile Club of Southern California; Mr. Gustavo Cicarelli, and retired Sergeant Dennis Frias of the California Highway Patrol, now the law enforcement liaison for both Locator Technologies and Plate-Net National License Plate Monitoring Serves; Ms. Christina Van Voorhis, Enterprise Rent-A-Car; Mr. Mick O'Neill, Hagerty Insurance SIU; Mr. Ted Saraf and Mr. Ira Beaty, LoJack Corporation; Special Agent Pat Goodman, National Insurance Crime Bureau; Mr. Richard Knapp and Mr. Jared Ackley, Knapp and Spurlock LLC; Mr. Sean Taylor, Orange County Automobile Dealers Association; Mr. Tony Ko, Toyota Motor Credit.  Mr. Haslam also thanked 2013 Vice President Tim Jackson and Past President Gary Labb, of the Western States Auto Theft Investigators Association, Southern Chapter, and 2013 President Dennis Frias, Orange County Auto Theft Investigators Association, for their continuing help and sponsorship of this event. 

For Photos from the Awards Ceremony Click Here

Mr. Haslam then thanked the sponsors of this year's awards presentation.  Special thanks go to the following organizations and businesses for participating in and sponsoring Orange County's Auto Theft Advisory Committee and its Officers of the Year Program: 

Automobile Club of Southern California LoJack Corporation
California Highway Patrol - Border Division Orange County Auto Theft Investigators (OCATI)
Enterprise Rent-A-Car Orange County Automobile Dealers Association
Knapp & Spurlock, LLP Toyota/Lexus Financial Services
Locator Technologies, LLC VINMonitor
Western States Auto Theft Investigators (WSATI), Southern Chapter

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