AUTO THEFT ADVISORY COMMITTEE (A.T.A.C.)
SAN DIEGO COUNTY VEHICLE THEFT
2007 RECOVERY OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARDS PRESENTATION BRUNCH
Sponsored by the San Diego 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.


18th Annual Awards Presentation Brunch

Wednesday, April 9, 2008 9:30 a.m. - The Prado at Balboa Park

Those participating included:
Pledge of Allegiance: Officer Paula Todd, CHP Border Division
Invocation: Father Eric Menees, San Diego Sheriff's Department
Introduction: Lieutenant John Marinez, CHP Border Auto Theft
Master of Ceremonies: Ms. Monica Zech, El Cajon Fire Department
Guest Speaker:  Assistant Chief Robert Clark, CHP Border Division
Presentation of Awards: Lieutenant John Marines, CHP Border Division
  Sergeant Cesar Murillo, CHP Border Division
  Brandi Wade and Tiffany Jones, CHP Border Division

The colors were presented by the San Diego Police Department Color Guard.

San Diego Police Department Color Guard

ATAC Chairperson Lieutenant John Marinez introduced CHP Border Division Officer Paula Todd who led the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Lieutenant Marinez then introduced Father Eric Menees who gave the invocation.

Lieutenant Marinez 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 tax free organization.

Lieutenant Marinez then introduced and thanked the San Diego County Auto Theft Advisory Committee members who put together the awards presentation; Ms. Martha Jones Joseph and Ms. Geraldine Gary of the Automobile Club of Southern California; Ms. Brandi Wade, and Ms. Tiffany Jones of the California Highway Patrol. 

Lieutenant Marinez then thanked the sponsors of this year's awards presentation, The New Car Dealer’s Association of San Diego, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Corporation, LoJack Corporation, C & D Towing, Avis/Budget Group, National Insurance Crime Bureau, and Anytime Towing.

Lieutenant Marinez then wanted to thank all the ATAC members who volunteer their time each year.

Master of Ceremonies Monica ZechLieutenant Marinez then introduced the Master of Ceremonies Monica Zech, El Cajon Fire Department Safety Services Coordinator.  Ms. Zech gave an opening address and spoke about the changes that took place in this year's selection process.  Ms. Zech 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.  Ms. Zech welcomed everyone to avail themselves of the brunch.

After the buffet, Monica Zech then introduced the guest speaker, CHP Border Division Assistant Chief Robert Clark.

Monica Zech then announced the recipients as Lieutenant John Marinez, with Sergeant Cesar Murillo, Brandi Wade, and Tiffany Jones assisting, handed out the numerous award plaques and recognition certificates to each of the recipients.

This year's recipients are (alphabetically):
 

SAN DIEGO COUNTY 2007 RECOVERY OFFICER OF THE YEAR RECIPIENTS:
Deputy William Amavisca San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Santee Substation
Officer Travis Anderson Carlsbad Police Department
Officer Luis Benavides San Diego Police Department, Traffic Division
Officer Dannie Bihum *2 San Diego Police Department, Eastern Division
Deputy David Bitonti San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Poway Substation
Officer Mike Doyle *4 El Cajon Police Department
Officer Tim Fenton California Highway Patrol, Oceanside
Officer Jim Ford *2 San Diego Police Department, Southeastern Division
Deputy Efrain Garcia *4 San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Lemon Grove Substation
Officer Matthew Gay La Mesa Police Department
Deputy Ruben Gomez *2 San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Campo/Tecate Substation
Officer William Havens Escondido Police Department
Deputy Wallace Henderson *10 San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Fallbrook Substation
Officer John Horvath *2 San Diego Police Department, Western Division
Officer Gordon Leek San Diego Police Department, Central Division
Deputy David Loe *2 San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Encinitas Substation
Officer Michael Miranda San Diego Police Department, Mid City Division
Officer Ben Montgomery *2 California Highway Patrol, El Cajon
Dep Atty General Marco Montoya-Gomez State of Baja California, Mexico
Officer Melissa Pavlenko San Diego Police Department, Northern Division
Deputy Darren Perata San Diego Sheriff's Department, Vista Substation
Deputy Anthony Radicia San Diego Sheriff's Department, Valley Center Substation
Deputy Kevin Ralph San Diego Sheriff’s Department, San Marcos Substation
Officer Omar Ramirez *3 National City Police Department
Officer Mike Roberts *8 Oceanside Police Department
Deputy Leonard Rodriguez *2 San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Alpine Substation
Deputy Richard Sanchez *2 San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Imperial Beach Substation
Officer Jeff Sibayan *2 California Highway Patrol, San Diego
Deputy Dennis Smith San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Ramona Substation
Officer Juan Tapia *4 San Diego Police Department, Southern Division
Officer Edward Tugashov Chula Vista Police Department
Officer Roger Wong San Diego Police Department, Northeastern Division
*2 Two-Time Award Recipient *3 Three-Time Award Recipient *4 Four-Time Award Recipient
*8 Eight-Time Award Recipient  *10 Ten-Time Award Recipient

Each of the Officers and Deputies listed above were honored for recovering the most stolen vehicles at their agencies during 2007.  Combined, these officers recovered 1043 vehicles in 2007, valued at over $6,320,274 and arrested 220 people.

The Top Five Honorees were:

Officer Jeff Sibayan of the California Highway Patrol, San Diego, was honored as the Officer recovering the most stolen vehicles throughout the entire county, 63 vehicles, including 16 "rolling stolens," resulting in 16 arrests, with a recovery value of $861,289.00.  This is Officer Sibayan's second ATAC Award.  Officer Sibayan has been with the California Highway Patrol 3 years and was last years ATAC second place winner.  Captain Gary McGagin, California Highway Patrol, San Diego, accepted the ATAC Perpetual Plaque which will remain at the department for the next year.

Officer Mike Doyle of the El Cajon Police Department was honored as the Officer recovering the second most stolen vehicles throughout the county, 66 vehicles, including 25 "rolling stolens," resulting in 34 arrests, with a recovery value of $372,000.00.  This is Officer Doyle's fourth ATAC Award.  After serving 20 years in the military, Officer Doyle started his law enforcement career and is currently with the El Cajon Police Department. Officer Doyle was the 2005 and 2006 San Diego Recovery Officer of the Year. Due to San Diego County ATAC rules, he was ineligible to be awarded the honor three years in a row.

Officer Ben Montgomery of the California Highway Patrol, El Cajon, was honored as the Officer recovering the third most stolen vehicles in the county, 40 vehicles, including 11 "rolling stolens," resulting in 12 arrests, with a recovery value of $217,700.00.   This is his second nomination for an ATAC award.

Deputy Efrain Garcia of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Lemon Grove Station, was honored as the Officer recovering the fourth most stolen vehicles in the county, 59 vehicles, including 5 "rolling stolens," resulting in 7 arrests, with a recovery value of $333,291.00.   This is his fourth nomination for an ATAC Award. 

Officer Omar Ramirez of the National City Police Department, was honored as the Officer recovering the fifth most stolen vehicles in the county, 24 vehicles, including 8 "rolling stolens," resulting in 8 arrests, with a recovery value of $95,000.00.  This is his third nomination for an ATAC Award.

State of Baja California, Mexico, Deputy Attorney General in charge of Auto Theft Marco Montoya-Gomez was presented an Honorable Mention Award by ATAC.  He has conducted many investigations that originated in San Diego County and subsequently end up in Baja California.  Recently, he assisted the California Highway Patrol with an investigation that led to the recovery of 6 big rigs and 7 vehicles with a value in excess of 1 million dollars.  Most of the vehicles were from the San Diego area.  He was recognized for his efforts to combat auto theft in both countries.

For Photos from the Awards Ceremony, Please Click Here

2007 San Diego ATAC Recovery Officer of the Year Committee Members, (l-r) Dan Brogdon, Martha Jones-Joseph, Monica Zech, Geraldine Gary, Tiffany Jones, Brandi Wade, Dave Petrelli

Special thanks to the following organizations for participating and sponsoring the San Diego County Auto Theft Advisory Committee (A.T.A.C.) and its Officer of the Year Program.

Anytime Towing Automobile Club of Southern California
Avis/Budget Group California Highway Patrol
C & D Towing El Cajon Fire Department
Enterprise Rent-A-Car JC Towing
LoJack Corporation National Insurance Crime Bureau
New Car Dealers Association of San Diego County San Diego County Regional Auto Theft Task Force
San Diego County Sheriffs Department San Diego Police Department
Western States Auto Theft Investigators Association, Southern Chapter

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