AUTO THEFT ADVISORY COMMITTEE (A.T.A.C.)
SAN DIEGO COUNTY VEHICLE THEFT
2013 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.


24th Annual Awards Presentation Brunch

Thursday, March 20, 2014 9:30 a.m. - The Prado at Balboa Park

Those participating included:
Pledge of Allegiance: Lieutenant Jason Penner, CHP Border Auto Theft
Invocation: Father Russell Martin, San Diego County Sheriff's Department
Introduction: Lieutenant Jason Penner, CHP Border Auto Theft
Mistress of Ceremonies: Ms. Monica Zech, El Cajon Public Information Officer
Guest Speaker:  Assistant Commissioner Warren Stanley, California Highway Patrol
Presentation of Awards: Lieutenant Jason Penner, CHP Border Auto Theft
  Brandi Wade and Tiffany Jones, CHP Border Division

San Diego ATAC Chairperson CHP Lieutenant Jason PennerFather Russell Martin giving the invocationATAC Chairperson CHP Border Division Lieutenant Jason Penner led the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Lieutenant Penner then introduced Father Russell Martin who gave the invocation.

Lieutenant Penner explained  that the Auto Theft Advisory Committee, or ATAC, is a partnership between law enforcement agencies, government, insurance companies, the San Diego New Car Dealer's Association, car rental companies, and other related businesses who share a common goal to reduce vehicle thefts in San Diego County.

Lieutenant Penner 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 Penner 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 Ward of the Automobile Club of Southern California; Ms. Brandi Wade, and Ms. Tiffany Jones of the California Highway Patrol. 

Lieutenant Penner then thanked the sponsors of this year's awards presentation, the Automobile Club of Southern California, C & D Towing, LoJack Corporation, the New Car Dealer's Association of San Diego, NK Towing, the Prado at Balboa Park, VINMonitor, and the Western States Auto Theft Investigators (WSATI).

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

Lieutenant Penner then held a raffle and recognized the Prado at Balboa Park for providing a gift certificate for the raffle, as well as the LoJack Corporation for providing a LoJack recovery system for the raffle.  LoJack Law Enforcement Liaison Efrain Quezada presented a certficate for a LoJack system to CHP Sergeant Charlie Leonard.

Lieutenant Penner then introduced the Mistress of Ceremonies, Monica Zech. Ms. Zech has graciously emceed the event 22 out of the 24 years and has become an integral part of the Committee. She is the Public Information Officer for the City of El Cajon. She has been with the city for over ten years, joining the City in August 2001. She especially enjoys her role as a safety speaker and researcher on driving safety, speaking at schools, company safety meetings and conferences, and at military safety stand-downs locally and nationally. Prior to that, she was a TV and radio journalist for some 30 years before she made the switch to El Cajon. In joining the City, Monica left a 30 year career in broadcast news, the last 18 years as an award winning TV and Radio air traffic reporter.  She was San Diego's first female airborne traffic reporter, and San Diego's first television traffic reporter for the NBC and ABC local news affiliates.  Ms. Zech gave an opening address and spoke about 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, California Highway Patrol Assistant Commissioner Warren Stanley.

Monica Zech then announced the recipients as Lieutenant Jason Penner, with 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 2013 RECOVERY OFFICER OF THE YEAR RECIPIENTS:
Deputy Marshall Abbott *3 San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Encinitis Station
Deputy James Balderson *2 San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Vista Station
Officer Dannie Bihum *8 San Diego Police Department, Eastern Division
Deputy Aaron Boer *2 San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Valley Center Station
Officer Michael Butcher *2 La Mesa Police Department
Officer Joe Camacho National City Police Department
Corporal Ricardo Carlon San Diego County Sheriff's Department, San Marcos Station
Officer Scott Crane *3 San Diego Police Department, Western Division
Officer Rodney Demetrio *2 Chula Vista Police Department
Deputy Steve Ertz San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Fallbrook Station
Officer Rodney Fischer *6 San Diego Police Department, Traffic Division
Deputy Joseph Garay San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Imperial Beach Station
Deputy Isaiah Garden San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Lemon Grove Station
Officer Mark Hallmark *6 California Highway Patrol, El Cajon Area
Officer Darren Hamilton Coronado Police Department
Officer Ronald J. Harris *2 California Highway Patrol, Oceanside Area
Officer Kevin Iwasaki San Diego Police Department, Mid-City Division
Officer Grant Jobe San Diego Police Department, Central Division
Deputy Devin A. Kusler *2 San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Santee Station
Officer Louie Michael *2 El Cajon Police Department
Deputy Aaron Miller *2 San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Alpine Station
Officer C P ^ San Diego Police Department, Northern Division
Deputy Andrew Peterson *2 San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Poway Station
Officer Michael Roberts *13 Oceanside Police Department
Officer Matthew Smith San Diego State University Police Department
Officer Eric Theal California Highway Patrol, San Diego Area
Officer Maricio Troche San Diego Police Department, Southern Division
Officer Andrew Wyse *2 Escondido Police Department
*# Indicates the Number of Times Nominated for an ATAC Award
^ Asked that his name and photo be removed
In 2013, these 28 officers, representing almost every law enforcement agency in San Diego County, arrested a total of 110 vehicle theft suspects and recovered 642 vehicles with a total recovery value of $4,135,861.00.

The Top Five Honorees were:

Corporal Ricardo Carlon, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, San Marcos Station, was honored as the Officer recovering the most stolen vehicles in the entire county, 49 vehicles, including 9 "rolling stolens," resulting in 19 arrests, with a recovery value of $201,000.00.  This is Corporal Carlon's first ATAC award nomination.  Over the past year, Corporal Ricardo Carlon has proven himself invaluable to the San Marcos Command. On one of his arrest he helped uncover a theft ring “chop shop operation” in the unincorporated area of Escondido. In that case, members of the Diablos criminal street gang were stealing vehicles throughout the North County, bringing the stolen vehicles to a residence where the vehicles were used to commit other violent crimes and or later dismantled. A total of 27 vehicles were recovered from the arrest alone. This is one example of how Corporal Carlon made the most impact on auto theft for the San Marcos command during 2013. He is considered one of the most pro-active Deputies of the San Marcos Sheriff's station, and is often called to assist the North County Gang Task Force, the Regional Auto Theft Task Force, and the San Marcos Sheriff's Detective Unit. Congratulations Corporal Carlon and thank you for your dedication to the citizen's of San Diego County.  Captain Scott Ybarrondo, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, accepted the ATAC Perpetual Plaque which will remain at the department for the next year.

Officer Scott Crane, San Diego Police Department, Western Division, was honored as the Officer recovering the second most stolen vehicles in the county.  This is Officer Cranes's third nomination for an ATAC award.

Officer Kevin Iwasaki, San Diego Police Department, Mid-City Division, was honored as the Officer recovering the third most stolen vehicles in the county. This is Officer Crane's first nomination for an ATAC award.

Officer Grant Jobe, San Diego Police Department, Central Division, was honored as the Officer recovering the fourth most stolen vehicles in the county.  This is Officer Jobe's first nomination for an ATAC award.

Deputy Aaron Boer, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Valley Center Station, was honored as the Officer recovering the fifth most stolen vehicles in the county.  This is Deputy Boer's second nomination for an ATAC award.

Honorable Mention Recipient:

Officer Louie Michael, El Cajon Police Department, was presented an Honorable Mention for his excellent police work.

2013 San Diego County ATAC Committee Members L-R: Warren Stanley, Glenda Brents, Martha Jones-Joseph, Brandi Wade, Geraldine Ward, Jason Penner, Dennis Frias, Tiffany Jones, Gus Cicarelli, Efrain Quezada, Keith Levin
For Photos from the Awards Ceremony, Please Click Here

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:

Automobile Club of Southern California
California Highway Patrol
C & D Towing
LoJack Corporation
New Car Dealers Association of San Diego
NK Towing
The Prado at Balboa Park
VINMonitor
Western States Auto Theft Investigators, Southern Chapter

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