July 16, 1998 - Teaser's Restaurant - Marina Del Rey

Vice President Randy Ballin called the meeting to order. Randy advised the group that President Dave Dempsey was called away for an “emergency” in Cabo San Lucas (yeah right!!) and would not be presiding over the meeting, which was ironically sponsored by Dave's employer, NICB.  LAPD - CECATS Detective Bill Robertson led the membership in the pledge of allegiance to the flag (or substitute surfboard since Sergeant at Arms Lou Koven did not appear with the flag for the second month). Dave then introduced the current WSATI board members who were in attendance. Self introductions of all in attendance were then made. 

Randy Ballin then introduced the first guest speaker, Secret Service Special Agent Mark Monroe (213 894-0831).  Mark is the group leader of the counterfeit squad.  Mark supplied a pamphlet describing some of the features of today's U.S. currency.  Additional copies are available by contacting Mark.  Mark also showed a video tape and had handout examples of counterfeit currency, plates, film (which for the most part made its way back to Mark).

Mark said that just in L.A. County, there is between $60,000-$120,000 of counterfeit currency passed weekly.  He said computer generation has added to the problems previously seen with offset printing.

Mark talked about many of the methods of counterfeiting and told us that the new $100 bills which were praised as being more difficult to counterfeit (if possible) had counterfeits showing up on the street within one day of their issue.

Randy Ballin then introduced the second guest speaker, Lancaster Superior Court Judge Michael J. Luros.  Randy said Judge Luros is a special friend to law enforcement. 

Judge Luros went over several recent court decisions which will effect police investigations, both positively and of course, negatively.  Judge Luros believes it is very important to remember some current law which will keep people in jail.  He said PC 1275 was very important because a person can not be released on bail until there is a hearing in court to determine the source of the money or collateral used for the bail.

He said another important one was PC 1270.1 which does not allow a reduction in bail for a violent or serious felony.

Judge Luros reminded everyone of PC 1269d which allows you to get a judge to raise bail if you believe the suspect is a flight risk if he makes the current bail.

Judge Luros said he is a believer in making it easier to obtain search warrants, believing in the use of fax, and in the future, the internet.

Randy asked if anyone had anything they wished to share with the membership.

Huntington Beach Detective John Borges (714 960-8848) spoke about Harley Davidson thefts occurring in Huntington Beach and several other cities in the Southland.  It appears thieves are using vans to quickly remove and conceal the stolen motorcycles.

Randy then spoke about the theft of two Caterpillar 638E scrapers.  He said one possibly was seen in the Lodi area being towed by a truck. 

The meeting was adjourned for the lunch hour.

After a hearty luncheon which everyone seemed to enjoy, Randy reconvened the meeting. and asked if anyone had anything they wished to share with the membership.

The WSATI membership generously gave President Dave Dempsey (nowhere to be seen) this month's Bent Screwdriver Award.  Dave won because the membership did not buy into his “emergency trip” to Mexico, shirking his presidential duties at the meeting his own employer was hosting.  Of course, Sergeant at Arms Lou Koven was a distant second place finisher for missing two meetings in a row.  Once again this must mean everyone else is doing a great job doing vehicle theft investigations, because no one had any tales of  “screwups” which would qualify for the Bent Screwdriver Award.

Randy announced information regarding the 1998 WSATI annual training seminar, to be held September 30th, October 1st, and 2nd, 1998 at the Town and Country Hotel, in San Diego.  It appears the training committee members (Mark Stowell, NICB and Dennis Frias, CHP-FEAR) have put together a very good training program.  Randy also announced that Buena Park PD Sergeant (former OCATT Investigator) Jim Hayes was putting together a golf tournament for members interested in participating. 

Please send in your registration form and money prior to September 1st to save a few bucks.  Randy reminded everyone that the registration fees, as well as providing excellent training, also includes a barbecue dinner on Thursday and the banquet on Friday night.

When making hotel reservations, Randy suggested bypassing the toll free number and calling the San Diego Town and Country Hotel directly at 619 291-7131. He reminded everyone we still need help in obtaining donations and gifts.  An application form for the conference is in the minutes which will be mailed out. 

Randy reminded everyone that the next meeting, normally in September, will not be held due to the training seminar being held at the end of September in San Diego.  The next WSATI meeting will be held in November in Monterey Park.

UPDATED GOLF INFORMATION: Jim Hayes has co-ordinated a reverse shotgun start, four man best ball scramble golf tournament to be held on September 30th, 1998 at the Steele Canyon Golf and Country Club prior to the WSATI afternoon registration.  This golf course is in Jamul, right outside of San Diego.  Jim has openings for 60 golfers.  The cost will be between $65 a person, which will include green fees, carts, range balls, drinks, hot dog, and to make Randy Ballin happy, individual trophies/plaques to the 1st and 2nd place teams.  There should be a flyer going out.  If not, contact Jim at 714 520-0580 for further information. His e-mail address is <Jhayes402@aol.com>. Please remember he is currently graveyard shift 2100-0700 Friday - Monday, so please avoid the early morning calls Saturday - Tuesday.

Door prizes were then distributed (how many tickets did Diana buy to win so many prizes?).  Following the distribution, Randy adjourned the meeting.

A continued reminder: RAID (909 955-2770), in conjunction with the Crime Prevention Program (CPP), NICB, and MGA, Inc (auctioneers), will be holding several Heavy Equipment Training Seminars in the future.  Contact RAID for a schedule of upcoming classes.  The previous classes were four hours in length, with one class session running between 0800-1200 hours, and another class session running between 1300-1700 hours.  The training is limited to 25 students per class and is further limited to Auto Theft Investigators only. They also have a barbecue lunch available for $5.00, served at the training site, between 1130-1330 hours.

Secretary/Newsletter Editor Gary Labb is still attempting to update the WSATI mailing list and roster.  He is soliciting e-mail addresses from the members.  Use of e-mail for delivery of the WSATI Newsletter and announcements would help control mail and postage costs. If you would like to receive your newsletter via e-mail, please contact Gary via his e-mail address or business phone/voice mail (glabb@wsati.org / 714 245-8425). Marianne Finney and State Farm Insurance have graciously absorbed the Newsletter copying/mailing/postage costs for many, many years.  Hopefully we can help them by converting to a partial e-mail system.

If you are having any difficulties receiving the mailings (U.S. Postal type “snail mail”), please contact Marianne.  She is in control of that mailing list and any corrections to the list need to go through her.

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