March 18, 1999 - AirTel Plaza Hotel - Van Nuys

President Randy Ballin called the meeting to order and asked that Senior Member Ken Wright (CHP/Fear) lead in the flag salute.  Randy also gave a special thanks to Jean Girard for her special WSATI chocolate assortments, given to each member in attendance.  These chocolates were formed in the shapes of revolvers, badges and handcuffs.  Very Clever.  Good luck to Jean in her new endeavor "Chocolate Creations" of Eagle Rock.

Our first speaker was Barnet Fagel now representing "Boomerang" a new stolen vehicle tracking system that is being introduced in the United States.  It has been up and running in Canada for the last four years and has proved to be very effective.  A video was shown which depicted the Tracking Unit in use.  This product works off on the cellular infrastructure and will eventually cover the entire country. Barnet said it is a simple two-wire installation and the Unit is easily concealed due to its small size.  It includes a back-up battery and costs are anticipated as being $595.00 installed with a $9.95 monthly fee.  It can be used on not only motor vehicles but also RVs, ATV's, Jet Skis, Construction Equipment, Trailers and Generators.  Joining Barnet was Boomerang Executive Andre Boulay who came all the way form Montreal Canada to be at our meeting and discuss their new product.

Our second speaker was Cathy Lamprecht representing "On Star" which is a service provided by General Motors, which performs a variety of services through the cellular telephone installed in your vehicle.  It provides 24 hours a day roadside assistance, stolen vehicle tracking, travel route support and a variety of other services.  It is available in some General Motors vehicle already and is, installed at a General Motors dealership.  The current costs are $1300.00 installed and a $270.00 yearly fee, which includes the hands free cell telephone. 

Ted Saraf of "Lojack" updated us on his company's latest success with the uncovering of their 100th Chop Shop through the police use of their tracking device.  Ted also told us of the recent hospitalization of  Bob Montoya, a long time friend and supporter of WSATI.  Bob has leukemia and is currently in the City of Hope Hospital.  We wish him the Best of Luck in his fight. 

Randy Ballin spoke to us regarding a windshield sticker that has been proposed; that would alert the patrol officers, in the field of the issuance of a replacement  vin (Blue Tag) to a vehicle that has had its factory vin plate removed.  Randy has drafted a letter to the C.H.P. Commissioner regarding this and has heard back that he supports it.  Hopefully, if implemented, this will eliminate the unnecessary impounding of vehicles for no vin that have been re-tagged.

Speaking of replacement VIN plates, Nissan provides a replacement public VIN plate through their parts department.  The way you can detect these from the originals is that they do not contain the air bag logos in the background. 

Keith Jackson, LAPD BAD/CATS, gave a special thanks and recognition to DMV and its investigators for alerting him to a boat fraud.  It seems that an individual was attempting to register a boat when the paper work, being provided, raised some questions as to the history of the boat.  At a result it was warned that the person registering it had actually reported it and its trailer stolen and had collected on his insurance claim.  The HIN had been removed but due to the diligent investigation of Keith he was able to identify it as the "Victims" and he was arrested for insurance fraud. 

Kenny Belt, CECATS, spoke regarding a Russian connection he has uncovered.  They are bringing stolen VIN switched vehicles to our area from the East Coast and placing them on consignment in various used car lots.  There is possible Mafia connections in this operation and the investigation is continuing.  Anyone with any similar cases please coordinate with Kenny.

Tom Pusl of Burbank P.D. alerted us to an investigation he is conducting in which over 800 blank money orders were stolen from Albertson's Market in Palmdale and are being used to purchase vehicles, motorcycles, etc.  Anyone with any information contact Tom.

The infamous Bent Screwdriver Award went to Kenny Belt (CECATS) for his driving feats.  It seems he can't judge distance to well while backing up.  He can thank "Bobby G" for that nomination.

Attendees were reminded of the upcoming WSATI conference hosted by the Central Chapter.  It will be held in Monterey November 8th through 10th .  There will be a Golf Tournament on Sunday the 7th. If you plan on attending, contact the host hotel which is the Monterey Beach Hotel at (800)242-8627.  Room rates vary from $79.00 to 109.00.  Other hotels are also nearby (see attached flyer).

After the general meeting and lunch, the famous WSATI raffle took place and thanks to the CECATS many very nice prizes were available.  A special thanks to all the contributors listed below:

Black and White Tow                          Ross Back Tow
Howard Sommer Tow                         Keystone Tow
Archer's Tow                                      Hollywood Tow
Absolute Tow                                     Girard and Peterson Tow
Co-Part                                              Galpin Ford 
Ritter Lien Sales

Don't forget our next meeting will be held on Friday, May 21, 1999, at the Palm Springs Conference/Palm Springs Marquis Hotel located at 150 South Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs   For hotel room reservations call (760)322-2121 or (800) 223-1050.  A room rate of $125.00 per night has been arranged and will be held until April 21st.  DMV investigator Stephanie Wheaton will be the featured speaker.  Her presentation and handout material is a favorite. 


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