THE JOHN HOOTMAN MEMORIAL AWARD
The John Hootman Memorial Award (formerly known as the "Hooter's Hummer" Award) is presented annually at the January meeting of the Western States Auto Theft Investigators (WSATI) Association. It is named after the late California Highway Patrol Investigator John D. Hootman of the Inland Division Investigations Services Unit. It honors the memory of an officer who gave so much time, effort, enthusiasm, and innovation towards helping the construction industry prevent and resolve equipment crimes.
The name "Hooter's Hummer" represents the last major case he spearheaded, the $10 million dollar recovery case against a suspect. This was the code name that John created for that memorable five-year case. That case remains the largest recovery of stolen construction equipment in United States History.
There are two parts to this award. First, a permanent gold hard hat, on which a small personalized plaque will be added each year naming the newest winner. The hard hat will be passed from winner to winner at this annual meeting. Second, a personalized plaque will be given each year to the current winner to keep.
As presented by Executive Director Melissa Somers at the WSATI Southern Chapter Training Meeting / Luncheon in Cerritos on January 17, 2019:"This year’s winner of the John Hootman Memorial Award has been a Deputy with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for 9 years. In 2014 he was assigned to his dream job as one of the two Deputies to the Sheriff’s Rural Crimes Task Force. This task force assignment includes a variety of duties ranging from animal cruelty/ theft, animal fighting, ranch and farm theft and heavy equipment and construction theft investigations – all in the very active San Bernardino County area.
In addition to the many responsibilities working on the Rural Crimes Task Force, this Deputy continues to make construction theft a priority. The work he does to prevent heavy equipment theft, is not only appreciated by CPP, it is incredibly helpful to any construction company that happens to have a job in San Bernardino County.
In 2018, this Deputy, along with his partner, recovered over $162,000 in heavy equipment, including multiple Bobcat skid Steers, CATerpillar grading computers, and company trucks.
He works diligently to educate foreman on various prevention methods including membership with the Crime Prevention Program, the Owner Applied Number (OAN) program, of which he is an administrator, and shares many valuable ideas on how to protect their jobsites from theft. He has been known to take time from his day to mark equipment for a company with the very OAN number he assigns them, proving, yet again, his dedication to his work. His proactive energy in fighting construction and heavy equipment theft is admirable….. AND he also just happens to be one of CPP’s biggest cheerleaders and supporters, and for that I am eternally grateful.
It is my honor and pleasure to present our 23rd Annual John Hootman Memorial Award to Deputy Rob Oakleaf."
The following people have been recognized by the Crime Prevention Program and awarded the John Hootman Memorial Award:
|Year||Recipient(s)||Agency at Time of Award|
|2018||Rob Oakleaf||SBCSD Rural Crimes TF|
|2017||John Nogues, John Rodriguez||RAID|
|2017||Dennis Frias (Lifetime Achievement Award)||Locator Technologies / OCRA|
|2016||Kasey Banuelos, Jeff Strout||CHP Inland Division ISU|
|2015||Jim Kelley||CHP Border Division ISU|
|2014||Karie Mendoza||CHP Inland Division ISU|
|2013||Miguel Garcia, Fred Langley, Matt Lewis, John Rodriguez, Scott Von Gorder||RAID|
|2012||Ben Black, Joe Williamson||LAPD Safe Detail|
|2011||Karie Mendoz||CHP Inland Division ISU|
|2011||Matt Lewis, John Rodriguez||RAID|
|2010||Riverside AutoTheft Interdiction Detail Team||RAID|
|2009||Gabe Marquez||CHP Southern ISU - TRAP|
|2008||CHP Inland Division ISU Team||CHP Inland Division ISU|
|2008||Heath Kuhlmann (Special Recognition Award)||CHP / SANCATT|
|2007||Michael Perez||LAPD - BAD CATS|
|2006||Richard Cheever||CHP Southern Division ISU|
|2006||Lou Koven||LAPD - BAD CATS|
|2005||Michael Hartmann, Juan Ponce||Ventura County Sheriffs|
|2004||Michael Harris, Kurt Nester||CHP Inland Division ISU|
|2003||CHP Coastal Division SLOCATS Team||CHP SLOCATS|
|2003||CHP Inland Division ISU Team (Special Recognition Award)||CHP Inland Division ISU|
|2002||Pete Herrera, Steve Reardon||CHP Border Division ISU|
|2002||Bill Chamberlin, Bill Kibbett||CHP Border Division ISU|
|2001||Riverside AutoTheft Interdiction Detail Team||RAID|
|2000||Rick Marshall||CHP CECATS|
|1999||Dale Nancarrow||TRAP - North|
|1999||Steve Kolb||LAPD - BAD CATS|
|1998||Riverside AutoTheft Interdiction Detail Team||RAID|
|1997||Riverside AutoTheft Interdiction Detail Team||RAID|
|1996||Dave Schwartzkoff||CHP Inland Division ISU|
|WHO IS ELIGIBLE: Current members of the WSATI organization,
including individual law enforcement officers or their departments, task
forces, insurance companies, private investigators, etc. If a multi-agency
group or task force is selected, the award will be presented to the whole
unit, not a single officer representing the group.
DATES AND LOCATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY: Activities which took place before November 30th, 2019 will be considered. To be eligible, activities must have taken place within at least one of the ten Southern California counties, the same area covered by the Crime Prevention Program.
ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES: Prevention or resolution of construction industry theft or vandalism incidents, apprehension of suspects, and training or educational activities for officers or the general public. These construction cases should reflect the nominee's personal interest, enthusiasm, commitment, and innovation. The award is not to be based on the dollar value of any recoveries, although any overall value should be noted.
For a copy of the application, contact the CPP Office or click here for an Adobe .pdf version of the application that can be downloaded and printed.
DEADLINE: All mailed entries must be received at the CPP Office by December 30, 2019. Please send entries to:
Crime Prevention Program of SoCal
(562) 860-9006 / 24-Hour Reward / Hotline 800-432-7257 X 823
The presentation will take place at the January 2020 WSATI Southern Chapter Training Meeting / Luncheon (location to be determined). For information regarding the WSATI Training Meetings, please click here or on the WSATI man below.
For more information regarding the Crime Prevention Program, click here.
For a review of the actual "Hooter's Hummer" case file from John Hootman (password encrypted), please click here.