ORANGE COUNTY VEHICLE THEFT
2016 RECOVERY OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARDS PRESENTATION BRUNCH
|Sponsored by the Orange County Auto Theft Advisory
Committee (A.T.A.C.), a partnership between law enforcement, insurance,
and other auto related companies to reduce auto theft. A.T.A.C. is a subcommittee
of the Western States Auto Theft Investigators Association, Southern Chapter.
27th Annual Awards Presentation Brunch
Wednesday, May 10, 2017 9:00 a.m.
|Those who will be participating in the program:
Lieutenant Stefanoff then introduced Orange County Sheriff's Department Chief Senior Chaplain Kathleen Kooiman who gave the invocation.
Lieutenant Stefanoff then explained that ATAC was a subcommittee of the Western States Auto Theft Investigators (WSATI) Association, allowing ATAC to provide donors with the benefits of a non-profit organization.
Lieutenant Stefanoff spoke about this year's selection process. Lieutenant Stefanoff said that significant pro-active contributions by officers to reduce auto theft, combined with a higher emphasis on "rolling stolens" and significant case highlights were the elements of the criteria to be considered.
Lieutenant Stefanoff then introduced the Master of Ceremonies Pat Haslam. Mr. Haslam has been the voice of Orange County ATAC for the past 27 years. Mr. Haslam is a familiar voice in Orange County. He is known to many in Orange County as “Dr. Drive” for his many years as the traffic reporter for Orange County News Channel. Pat was also a feature reporter for KOCE-TV’s news magazine “Real Orange”. Mr. Haslam gave an opening address and then welcomed everyone to avail themselves of the breakfast buffet.
After the brunch, Pat Haslam introduced Mr. Kevin Gauthier, Law Enforcement Liaison for LoJack Corporation (Orange County Area). Kevin conducted the drawing of tickets for a LoJack Security unit. LoJack donated a LoJack tracking unit to A.T.A.C. to be given as a door prize for attending the event.
Pat Haslam then introduced the guest speaker, California Highway Patrol Border Division Chief Jim Abele. Chief Abele spoke about the great work that the nominees of 2016 did in recovering stolen vehicles.
Master of Ceremonies Pat Haslam then announced the Orange County 2016 Recovery Officer of the Year Recipients as Lieutenant Michael Stefanoff, WSATI Southern Chapter President / Liberty Mutual SIU Investigator Heather Roberts, and Automobile Club of Southern California SIU Manager Keith Levin, presented the numerous award plaques and recognition certificates to each of the winners. Along with their Recovery Officer of the Year plaques, each recipient received a certificate of congressional recognition, as well as recognition from the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
Pat Haslam introduced Orange County Automobile Dealers Association Executive Director John Sackrison who made a presentation to the top five officers recognized during the awards presentation, giving a check for $200 in the name of the top five recipients for the Orange County Boys and Girls Club in their respective cities.
This year's recipients are (by agency):
|Anaheim Police Department||Officer Kevin Flanagan|
|Brea Police Department||Officer Evan D'Huart|
|Buena Park Police Department||Officer Willy Lopez|
|California Highway Patrol - Capistrano Area||Officer Shaun Conner|
|California Highway Patrol - Santa Ana Area||Officer Daniel Reich|
|California Highway Patrol - Westminster Area||Officer Brad Dibel|
|Cal State University Fullerton Police Department||No Nominee submitted by agency|
|Costa Mesa Police Department||Officer Anthony "Tony" Reitz|
|Cypress Police Department||Officer Daniel Shin|
|Fountain Valley Police Department||Officer Bryan Nguyen|
|Fullerton Police Department||Officer Austin Grogan|
|Garden Grove Police Department||Officer Joshua Escobedo|
|Huntington Beach Police Department||Officer Jeff Gasteiger|
|Irvine Police Department||Officer Braden Marks|
|Laguna Beach Police Department||Officer Luke Gilbertson|
|La Habra Police Department||Officer Jesus Castanon|
|La Palma Police Department||Sergeant Luke Carlson|
|Los Alamitos Police Department||Officer Delana Lopez|
|Newport Beach Police Department||Officer Mark Fasano|
|Orange County Sheriff's Department - North||Deputy Dusty Womack|
|Orange County Sheriff's Department - San Clemente||Deputy Si Page|
|Orange County Sheriff's Department - Stanton||Deputy Bryce Simpson|
|Orange County Sheriff's Department - Yorba Linda||Deputy Andrea Bogdanovich|
|Orange Police Department||Officer Corey Trippy|
|Placentia Police Department||Officer Matthew Herren|
|Santa Ana Police Department||Officer Michael Gibbons|
|Seal Beach Police Department||Officer Chris Hendrix|
|Tustin Police Department||Officer Taylor Ryan|
|University of California Irvine Police Department||No Nominee submitted by agency|
|Westminster Police Department||Officer Daniel McCarthy|
Each of the Officers and Deputies listed above was nominated for recovering the most stolen vehicles at their agencies during 2016. In 2016, these 28 officers, representing almost every law enforcement agency in Orange County, arrested a total of 263 vehicle theft suspects and recovered 470 vehicles valued in excess of $3.3 million dollars.
The Top Five Honorees were:
Officer Michael Gibbons of the Santa Ana Police Department was honored as the Officer recovering the most stolen vehicles throughout the entire county, 81 vehicles, including 48 "rolling stolens," resulting in 59 arrests, with a recovery value in excess of $780,000. Officer Gibbons has worked diligently and had a significant impact on the vehicle theft problem not only in Santa Ana, but the entire County of Orange. Officer Gibbons was presented with a check for the Orange County Boys and Girls Club of Santa Ana by the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association. Santa Ana Police Sergeant Sandy Gatt accepted the Perpetual Winner's Award that goes to the Top Officer's Department to be displayed until next year's Awards Ceremony.
Officer Kevin Flanagan of the Anaheim Police Department was honored as the Officer recovering the second most stolen vehicles throughout the entire county, 78 vehicles, including 40 "rolling stolens," resulting in 48 arrests, with a recovery value in excess of $600,000. Officer Flanagan is one of the "regulars" when it comes to vehicle theft efforts and the ATAC Awards. Officer Flanagan has been selected as the top ATAC Recovery Officer of the Year four times in the last nine years. Officer Flanagan utilizes his years of expertise, a combination of patrol techniques, and usage of resources such as LPR and LoJack recovery systems to continually recover stolen vehicles and arrest vehicle theft suspects. Officer Flanagan, was presented with a check for the Orange County Boys and Girls Club of Anaheim by the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.
Officer Corey Trippy of the Orange Police Department was honored as the Officer recovering the third most stolen vehicles in the county, recovering 69 stolen vehicles, including 14 "rolling stolen," resulting in 22 arrests, with a recovery value in excess of $290,000. A majority of the suspects arrested were repeat offenders. Officer Trippy utilized a combination of patrol techniques, LPR technology, reviewed stolen vehicle reports, and had knowledge of crime trends in the area he patrols based on information gathered by Crime Analysis Units. He takes the "extra" investigative steps in efforts to identify who was in possession of stolen vehicles. Officer Trippy was presented with a check for the Orange County Boys and Girls Club of Orange by the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.
Officer Willy Lopez of the Buena Park Police Department was honored as the Officer recovering the fourth most stolen vehicles in the county, recovering 22 stolen vehicles, including 14 "rolling stolens," resulting in 23 arrests, with a recovery value in excess of $230,000. Many of these stolen vehicles were located unoccupied, and rather than simply recovering these vehicles, Officer Lopez took the time to establish and maintain surveillance of these vehicles resulting in the high number of arrests and criminal charges. Officer Lopez was presented with a check for the Orange County Boys and Girls Club of Buena Park by the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.
Officer Daniel McCarthy of the Westminster Police Department, was honored as the Officer recovering the fifth most stolen vehicles in the county, recovering 44 stolen vehicles, including 8 "rolling stolens," making 14 arrests, with a recovery value in excess of $250,000. Officer McCarthy was presented with a check for the Orange County Boys and Girls Club of Westminster by the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.
ATAC also recognized two additional officers for their efforts, presenting them with Honorable Mention plaques. These officers, in addition to being nominated by their agencies for the Officer of the Year, have been selected for additional recognition by ATAC, based on nomination statements submitted to ATAC. They are to be commended for their work on these specific cases and incidents.
Representing the Garden Grove Department, Officer Joshua Escobedo. Officer Escobedo recovered 14 stolen vehicles, 10 of which were “rolling stolens” resulting in 18 arrests, with a recovery value of nearly $70,000. Officer Escobedo continues to conduct investigations into gang, narcotics, and weapons related crimes. However, he still finds the time and puts forth the effort to locate, apprehend and arrest the above noted subjects for vehicle theft, in addition to, recovering and returning these stolen vehicles to the victims of these crimes. Great work Officer Escobedo.
Representing the California Highway Patrol - Westminster Area, Officer Brad Dibel. Officer Dibel's relentless effort resulted in 15 recovered stolen vehicles, 7 of which were "rolling stolens," resulting in 7 arrests, with a recovery value of nearly $85,000. Thank you Officer Dibel for the tireless dedication to your work.
Mr. Haslam then introduced and thanked the Orange County Auto Theft Advisory Committee members who put together the awards presentation; Mr. Keith Levin, Ms. Martha Jones-Joseph, and Ms. Geraldine Ward of the Automobile Club of Southern California; Mr. Gustavo Cicarelli of the California Highway Patrol; Mr. James Rocker, National Insurance Crime Bureau; Ms. Melissa Somers of the Crime Prevention Program of Southern California; Ms. Lissette Ward, Orange County District Attorney's Office; and Sgt. Rich Koenig and Sgt. Fel Navarro from the Orange County Auto Theft Task Force.
A special thanks to the City of Garden Grove for this year's venue and to many of the sponsors in attendance, Dennis Frias and Tony Ko from Locator Technologies, Richard Knapp and Jared Ackley of Knapp and Spurlock Law Firm, Kevin Gauthier of the LoJack Corporation, Keith Jackson of KBJ Investigations, Mick O'Neill from Hagerty Insurance SIU, our partners from Enterprise Rent a Car, Toyota / Lexus Financial Services, Gary Labb, the entire WSATI Board, and John Sackrison and the Orange County Auto Dealers Association for their tremendous support of our program.
For Photos from the Awards Ceremony Click Here