WESTERN STATES AUTO THEFT
INVESTIGATORS ASSOCIATION
SOUTHERN CHAPTER
TRAINING MEETING / LUNCHEON

November 20, 2003 - General Motors Training Center - Burbank


Due to the absence of 2003 WSATI Southern Chapter President Dave Randolph, 2003 WSATI Southern Chapter Vice President Phil Macklin (Allstate Insurance SIU) started the meeting by welcoming everyone to the GM Training Facility

Phil then had Dave Dempsey (National Insurance Crime Bureau) lead all the members in the pledge of allegiance.

Phil then explained that Dave Randolph's absence was due to a medical problem and wished Dave a speedy recovery.

Phil then introduced the 2003 WSATI Southern Chapter Officers: Frank Graber, Steve Torres, and Bud Hood.  Phil also recognized WSATI Webmaster Gary Labb.

Phil then had the members in attendance do self introductions.  It was nice to see  a lot of new faces from the insurance companies, as well as a LASD Deputy with a real interest in vehicle theft, Lloyd McCullough.  There were some old (familiar faces) attending such as Earl Gunderson, Rich Job, and Bill Robertson.

Phil then introduced the WSATI Southern Chapter Past Presidents in attendance; Dave Dempsey, Lou Koven, Gary Labb, Bill Lovold, Bill Robertson, Ted Saraf, and Carol VanNatter.

Phil then opened the podium to the attendees.  Torrance PD Detective Gordon Smearer spoke about a case involving thefts related to Auto Trader sales.  You can contact Gordon at (310) 618-5593.

Burbank PD Detective Tom Pusl then spoke about the ongoing investigation into the murder of their Officer Matthew Pavelka.  Tom handed out flyers of the man wanted in connection with the murder.  Tom can be contacted at (818) 238-3276.

Phil then invited Diana Rummel, Executive Director of the Crime Prevention Program (CPP) for the Construction Industry up to the podium.  Diana explained the background of the "Hooter's Hummer" Award.  She then invited up two members of her board of directors, CHP Investigators Bill Kibbett and Gabe Marquez

Diana then announced that this year's winner was the CHP Coastal Division ISU SLOCATT Team.  While Bill Kibbett presented the perpetual helmet to the group and Gabe Marquez presented the 2003 Hooter's Hummer Award to the team, Diana explained that SLOCATT was responsible for the recovery of 26 pieces of equipment worth in excess of $1.2 million dollars during the investigation of one case.  There were indications that there were probably at least 20 more pieces of equipment still to be located.

Diana then said that it was a difficult decision in 2003 as CHP Inland Division ISU was more than a runner-up.  Diana then brought up the CHP Inland Division ISU team and presented them with a special recognition award.

Ted Saraf, LoJack Law Enforcement Liaison, then spoke about LoJack approaching the 200 "chop shops" located level in the Southern California area.   He said it was up to 191 and special recognition would go to whoever discovered the 200th LoJack related "chop shop." 

Dave Dempsey (AAA of Southern California) spoke about stolen equipment from Arizona.

Carol VanNatter (AAA of Southern California), IAATI - Western Regional Chapter Secretary, spoke about numerous awards that IAATI presented each year and how many in WSATI would probably qualify if nominated.

Phil then introduced the guest speaker, San Fernando Superior Court Judge Robert Schuit.  Judge Schuit's insightful and often times humorous presentation regarding officers and investigators testifying in court was met with enthusiasm from the audience.  Phil presented Judge Schuit with a speaker's plaque.

Phil then introduced WSATI Southern Chapter Legal Counsel Richard Knapp.  Richard explained the new regulations related to election of officers since the WSATI Southern Chapter became a "non-profit corporation."  There were two candidates for the position of Sergeant-at-Arms, Rick Greenwood of Riverside PD who was in attendance, and Pat Sheets of Vanguard Car Rental who could not make it to the meeting.  Richard explained that the new rules no longer allow the members in attendance to choose the next Sergeant-at-Arms, that the position would be chosen by the current five officers.  This did not appear to be popular among the many longtime WSATI Southern Chapter members.  A "straw vote," said by Richard to be advisory to the officers, was made and a Sergeant-at-Arms was selected by the members in attendance.  Richard said the officers would meet during the lunch break to choose a new Sergeant-at-Arms.  Richard can be reached at (714) 754-1100.

The attendees were then served a Santa Maria style barbecue held just outside the auditorium.  The Santa Maria Barbecue Company (a Lou Koven "find") catered the lunch and most everybody commented that it was the best lunch that WSATI has ever had.  Barbecued tri-tip, chicken, baked beans, garlic bread, two salads and dessert were on the menu.  If you went away hungry it's your own fault!  Hopefully we will have them back again soon (possibly March).  They can be located in Culver City.  Call them at 310 559-5709. 

During the lunch break, the officers in attendance, Phil Macklin, Frank Graber, Steve Torres, and Bud Hood voted and ended up in a tie between Rick and Pat.  The tie-breaker went to outgoing president Dave Randolph who was contacted by phone.  There was no announcement made during the meeting to see whether the Officer's choice matched the vote of the people who attended the training meeting/luncheon. 

Diana Rummel, who had been selling raffle tickets for construction equipment toys and models, announced the raffle would now begin.  These were very popular among the attendees and there were numerous happy winners.

The regular WSATI raffle was then held. 

Following the raffle, Phil then asked for any nominations for the Bent Screwdriver Award.   Bill Lovold (AAA of Southern California and ex-BAD-CATS Detective) nominated his current partner Dave Dempsey.  Bill explained that Dave must be directionally impaired.  Dave, an ex-LAPD Detective Sergeant, could not find his way to BAD-CATS, even though the same directions given by Bill to several other people only failed in Dave's case in locating BAD-CATS.  Bill said that Dave had to call him three times during his travels to locate BAD-CATS, arriving about 40 minutes late.  Dave was unanimously chosen to be the recipient. 

Phil then updated the members regarding the 2004 WSATI Training Seminar.  Due to the hotel rebooking WSATI, the new dates for the Seminar were September 29th, 30th, and October 1st.  He said that Frank Graber had negotiated the price of the hotel to be $90 including tax and parking.  The Seminar will be held in San Diego at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center.

The meeting was adjourned. 

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