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

November 19, 1998 - Luminaria's Restaurant - Monterey Park


President Dave Dempsey called the meeting to order. LoJack Law Enforcement Liaison and Past President Ted Saraf led the membership in the pledge of allegiance to the flag. Dave then introduced the current WSATI board members. Self introductions of all in attendance were then made.

Dave then spoke to the members about helping the organization grow and thrive by revitalizing the ranks with new members.  He noted many in attendance are the members who have been with the organization for countless years.  Dave said it was his desire to see new faces to carry on the good work of the WSATI Southern Chapter in the future.  He urged current members to bring new members into the folds of the organization.

Vice President Randy Ballin then introduced the first guest speaker, insurance industry attorney Richard O. Knapp (Haight, Brown & Bonesteel, L.L.P. 714 754-1100).  Richard is at the forefront of fighting fraudulent insurance claims.  Richard gave an enlightening and insightful outline presentation using his computer.  The presentation covered quite a lot involving vehicle fraud, including arsons and thefts.  If you would like a hard copy edition of the outline (if it is not included with the mailing), contact Richard (a computer edition will be e-mailed by Gary to recipients who accept attached files).  At the conclusion of Richard's presentation, Randy presented him with a WSATI speaker gift.

Dave then introduced NICB Western Division Manager Mark Stowell who spoke about the upcoming Annual Members Meeting at the Burbank Airport Hilton (2500 Hollywood Way, Burbank) on February 2nd, 1999.  The meeting will commence at 0730 hours with a continental breakfast.  The 0830-1230 meeting will include discussion of high tech theft and fraud, civil RICO actions, and VTEC engines.  RSVPs are requested to attend.  Please contact Merrie Campion at NICB (626-335-9499) for further information.

Dave then introduced Diana Rummel of the Crime Prevention Program for the Construction Industry (310 860-9006).  Diana announced the 3rd Annual Hooter’s Hummer Award Winner.  The Award is named in honor of the late John Hootman (CHP Inland ISU).  The award is presented to the officer or organization which not only succeeds in recovering a large dollar amount of construction equipment due to an extended investigation, but also assists other officers in training and investigations of construction equipment related crimes.

This year's Hooter’s Hummer Award winner was the Riverside County Auto Theft Interdiction Detail (RAID) who was also last year's winner.  They must be doing something right.  The award was presented to RAID coordinator, CHP Lieutenant Mike Williams.  The award is actually two separate awards, a permanent plaque which goes to the winner, and a perpetual award, a helmet, with each year's winner noted.

Dave then announced that Huntington Beach Detective John Borges (714 960-8848) was retiring from the department on 12/10/98. 

Dave then introduced Steve Hirschenson (310 286-2610), LoJack Commercial Systems Manager, who spoke about a ruggedized LoJack system which is now available to construction, rental, trucking, and fleets.

Dave  spoke about the The 27th Annual WSATI Training Seminar which was held at the Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center in San Diego, September 30th, October 1st, and October 2nd.  The seminar, hosted by the WSATI Southern Chapter, was one of the most successful in the history of the organization.

Dave also recognized Carol VanNatter (Auto Club of Southern California) and Joan Pitts (Hertz Rent-A-Car) for the awards they received at the Seminar.  Carol received the WSATI Northwest Chapter (Washington State Patrol)  Trooper James S. Gain Award (also co-awarded to WSATI Northwest President Darrell Ehlers).  Joan won the WSATI Southern Chapter (State Farm Insurance) Billy Osborn Award

Dave then spoke of the upcoming 28th Annual WSATI Training Seminar in November 1999 which will be put on by the WSATI Central Chapter (additional information is included at the end of this newsletter).

The meeting was adjourned for the lunch hour.

Following a very hearty luncheon, Dave gave a preliminary list of the 1999 meeting schedule to the members in attendance:

Dave then introduced Carol VanNatter, 1996 WSATI Southern Chapter President, who conducted the elections for the 1999 Calendar Year WSATI Southern Chapter Board Members.  The results of the election were:

President  Randy Ballin  CHP Southern ISU  213 664-0695 x308
Vice President  Gary Labb  Santa Ana PD   714 245-8425
Secretary  Bill Lovold  Coast National Insurance 800 541-4153 x2233
Treasurer  Lou Koven  LAPD BAD-CATS  213 485-2507
Sergeant at Arms Dave Randolph 20th Century Insurance 909 276-2588

Dave then opened the floor to the members for discussion. 

Ted Saraf (LoJack 310 286-2610 X3003) spoke about LoJack. 

David Gauthier (SAFECO Insurance 818 956-4253) spoke about fraudulent storage locker theft reports.

Gary Labb (Santa Ana PD 714 245-8425) advised members that his department has dropped the bilingual requirement for lateral transfers for a six month period which began 10/23/98.  If any member has the desire, or knows of someone on their department who might have the desire to transfer to Santa Ana PD, contact Gary for further information.

The WSATI membership then generously gave Secretary/Newsletter Editor Gary Labb and Newsletter Compiler/Mailer Marianne Finney (nowhere to be seen) the November Bent Screwdriver Award.  They won jointly after Carol “the brick” VanNatter nominated them for failing to get out the last WSATI Newsletter via “snail mail” (because e-mail recipients did receive their copies).  Gary insisted the award should go to the U.S. Postal Service for failing to deliver the (hard copies of the Newsletter, handouts, and roster) mail to Marianne in October so she could mail it out in November.  This of course, fell upon deaf ears.  Gary then graciously accepted what he called the prestigious DEMPSEY award.

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.

There were two door prize raffles which then took place.  The first was by Diana Rummel.  In conjunction with the Hooter’s Hummer Award, Diana raffled off several items to raise money to continue the Hooter’s Hummer Award in future years.  Assisting Diana with this raffle were Susan St. Amand and Mike Smith.  The grand prize was a scale model of a Melrose Bobcat skid loader. Gary Labb won the grand prize, which he accepted quicker than the Bent Screwdriver Award

Then the large number of Auto Club door prizes supplied by Carol VanNatter were distributed to the members. 

Following the distribution of the door prizes, Dave adjourned the meeting.

Secretary/Newsletter Editor Gary Labb sent out rosters of 1998 meeting attendees to everyone on the e-mail list in late November.  Gary is still attempting to update the WSATI mailing list and roster for everyone.  He is soliciting e-mail addresses from the members.  Use of e-mail for delivery of the WSATI Newsletters, rosters, 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 U.S. Postal type mailings (“snail mail”), please contact Marianne at (310) 568-5219.  She is in control of that mailing list and any corrections to the list need to go through her.

The WSATI Central Chapter announced the 28th Annual WSATI Training Seminar will be held in Monterey.  The Seminar will be held at the Monterey Beach Hotel, 2600 Sand Dunes Drive, Monterey, CA  93940  (800) 242-8627.  The Seminar will be held Monday, November 8th - Wednesday, November 10th, 1999.  Any questions regarding reservations can be answered by the hotel reservation manager, Kevin Emery

The entire facility has been reserved.  Prices are $79 Garden Side and $109 Oceanside (plus 10% tax).  WSATI room rates are available from Sunday, November 7th until Thursday, November 11th, 1999. Final cutoff date for reservations is October 7, 1999.

The WSATI Southern Chapter Board Members would like to give training in topics that are important to you.  If you have any suggestions for guest speakers or topics for the 1999 calendar year meetings, please contact 1999 Vice President Gary Labb (work phone 714 245-8425 or email glabb@wsati.org).  The speakers are already set for the January and March meetings. 


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