Logo (c) 2007 - 2014 WSATI Southern Chapter
WESTERN STATES AUTO THEFT
INVESTIGATORS ASSOCIATION
FRIENDS REMEMBERED

In Alphabetical Order

Jerry Boyer
Daniel Brogdon
Lee S. Cole
Gary Gray
Fritz Grimsley
Hector Guevara
Jim Hayes
Chuck Hollingsworth
Bob Holm
Tom Hoyt
Pat Lealos
Emile Maassen
Phil Macklin
Gene Meregillano
Billy Osborn
Bill Ports
Dave Prescott
Bill Robertson
Dan Ryan
George Sentman
Bruce Stanley
Alan Taylor
Carol VanNatter
Kendrick "K.B." Wright

DANIEL "DAN" BROGDON


Automobile Club of Southern California

I was notified at the January 15, 2015 WSATI Southern Chapter Meeting that one of the people who helped the WSATI Southern Chapter become what it is today, Dan Brogdon, passed away on January 13, 2015.  Dan Brogdon, retired Automobile Club of Southern California SIU Manager, supervised many of the people who were WSATI Southern Chapter Past Presidents (Dave Dempsey, Tim Jackson, Bill Lovold, Emile Maassen, and Carol Van Natter) and gave them the time to perform their duties.  Dan also made sure that the Auto Theft Advisory Committee received funding for both the Orange County and San Diego County Auto Theft Recovery Officer of the Year Award Programs.  It is also notable that many of his employees were recognized for the Chapter's prestigious Billy Osborn Memorial Award (Martha Jones, Bill Lovold, Emile Maassen, Carol Van Natter, and Geraldine Ward).  Dan's participation in WSATI over the many years helped bring other insurance company Special Investigation Unit personnel into the WSATI network.  I, personally, will miss this gentleman.  I requested that Automobile Club of Southern California SIU Team Manager Keith Levin provide additional information regarding Dan... Gary
 

-----Original Message-----
Subject: RE: Dan Brogdon
From: Keith Levin <levin.keith@aaa-calif.com>
Date: Thu, January 29, 2015 10:53 am
To: Gary Labb

Dan worked for the Auto Club for 46 years, rising from claims adjuster through the ranks for a unit manager in Special Investigations Unit.  He ran four teams of adjusters and investigators for many years.  Dan was a recognized expert in organized criminal rings targeting insurance carriers.  He had an uncanny ability to remember fraudsters from years back and when they started their criminal enterprises again, he organized investigations to uncover their schemes.  Dan was very knowledgeable in Russian organized crime and was involved in many criminal and civil prosecutions.  Dan worked constantly with NICB, FBI and District Attorneys’ Offices.  Dan was one of the original pioneers in SIU and taught at several anti-fraud association conferences.  Just over one year following retirement, Dan passed due to complications from cancer.  He will be sorely missed.

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HECTOR JOSE GUEVARA

Los Angeles Police Department / Southern California Gas

-----Original Message-----
From: Randy Ballin <rballin@wsati.org>
To: Gary Labb
Sent: Monday, January 23, 2012 8:26 PM
Subject: Obituary for Hector Guevara (Los Angeles Daily News)

Gary: We lost another good friend. You may have received this from other sources, but anyway, Hector was a good friend and a WSATI supporter for many years. Please include this in the friends remembered section.

Thanks, Randy

December 1, 1927 - January 17, 2012

Hector died on January 17, 2012 with his family by his side and a smile on his face. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend who will be greatly missed. He was preceded in death by his dear son, Pedro, and his brother, Roger. Hector was born December 1, 1927 in Los Angeles, CA. He was the oldest of four children born to Lupe and Pedro Guevara. He attended St. Vincent's grammar school and then Loyola High School. Hector served in General Mac Arthur's army of occupation in the 11th Airborne Division from 1946-1948. He joined the LAPD in 1952 and retired 25 years later. He then worked as a special agent in corporate security for Southern California Gas Company for 15 years before retiring again.  In 1958 Hector met the love of his life "Martha" on a blind date. They were married on December 29, 1962. They had four children in five years. In 1977 the family moved to Agoura, CA. They were among the founding parishioners of St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church where Hector was very active, going to Mass every day and attending Bible Study every Thursday.  Hector is survived by his wife, Martha; his children: Marta and husband Dale; Hector Jr. and wife Chris; Diana; and his siblings, Grace Geer and Rene Guevara. Although he had three siblings, there are many people that consider him their brother. Hector leaves behind seven grandchildren whom he adored: Sean, Aaron, Lydia, Elena, Matthew, Sarah and Peter. If you ask any one of them what the secret ingredient is to their favorite pancakes that "Tata" made, they would all say "love".

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CHARLES "CHUCK" HOLLINGSWORTH


Huntington Beach Police Department
1972 WSATI Southern Chapter President

Eugene, OR Register-Guard
October 28, 2000

Oakridge, OR - Charles William "Bill" Hollingsworth of Oakridge died Oct. 21 of heart failure.  He was 65.

Hollingsworth was born Dec. 1, 1934, to Charles and Margaret Hollingsworth.

He married Velda "Jean" Rosenberger in Huntington Beach, CA, on Aug. 2, 1956.  She died Feb. 26, 1997.

In 1958, Hollingsworth joined the Huntington Beach Police Reserves.  He started work as a regular officer in 1961 and he was assigned to the auto theft detail in 1966.  He retired in 1989.

Hollingsworth was president of the Western States Auto Theft Investigator's Association and a member of the Department of Justice Stolen Auto Detail Association Board.  He also helped erect the Huntington Beach Police Officer Association range and spent many weekends there.

In 1990, Hollingsworth moved to Oakridge, where he served on the chamber of commerce.

His interests included fishing, boating and the outdoors.  He also enjoyed working around his home.

Survivors include three sons, Danny of Depoe Bay, and Dale and Calvin, both of Huntington Beach, two daughters, Jackie Carmichael of Santa Rosa, CA, and Lori Brown of Tucson, AZ; a brother, Jim of Bakersfield, CA; eight grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Burial will be at Henderson, NV Oakridge Chapel of the Woods Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.  Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association.

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BOB HOLM

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department / Budget Car Rental Group

-----Original Message----- 
Subject: Passing of Bob Holm 
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2003 18:54:18 -0400 
From: "Fogerson, Patricia" <patricia.forgerson@avis.com> 

Lou and Gwen; 

Could you please notify as many people as you can who knew Bob.  I regret to inform you that Bob Holm, recently retired Security Manager for Budget Car Rental Group has passed away after a battle with Cancer. Bob was a retired Los Angeles County  Sheriff and  was a great help to those  in law enforcement as well as the private sector.

Bob was also an active member of WSATI  Western States Auto Theft Investigators, as well as IAFCI, International Association of Financial Crimes investigators.  He will be greatly missed. 

Services for Bob  will be held at: 1200 NOON Tomorrow, Sept 17th. at: 
Bermuda Dunes Country Club
42360 Adams St. 
Bermuda Dunes, Ca. 92201 

Patty Fogerson 
So. Cal. Security Manager 
Cendant Car Rental Group 
Avis/Budget 
310 342-9169 
FAX 310 342-9263 

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THOMAS NELSON HOYT


California Highway Patrol - Southern Division Investigative Services Unit
1975 WSATI Southern Chapter President

The Daily Courier, Prescott, Arizona
Sunday, April 23, 2006

Thomas Nelson Hoyt passed away at Yavapai Regional Medical Center in Prescott, Arizona on Saturday, April 15, 2006, at the age of 74. He was born July 31, 1931, in Detroit, Michigan, to Nelson and Mary Hoyt.

Tom's family moved to California in 1941. He married Nancy Franken in 1950. Tom and Nancy had four children.

After retirement from the California Highway Patrol, Tom spent several years as a private investigator. Following that retirement he enjoyed playing golf and camping.

After the death of his first wife, Nancy, he married Lydia Lambertz. Tom, Lydia and Lydia's son Marcus moved to Prescott, Arizona, in 1991 where Tom became an active member in Elks Lodge #330 where he served as Exalted Ruler from 1994 to 1995. He was a member of Lodge #19 of the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Police Association, the retired CHP Officer's Association, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Posse and was a volunteer at the Yavapai Regional Medical Center and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Tom is survived by his wife, Lydia; his children and their spouses, Jeanne and Mike Mulhern of Santa Cruz, Calif., Jim and Angela Hoyt of Fort Worth, Texas, Kathy and Tom Townsend of La Habra, Calif., Rob and Debbie Hoyt of Jamul, Calif., Marcus Lambertz of Sun City, Calif.; his sister, Elizabeth Lamberth and brother, Howard Hoyt both of Placentia, Calif.; and eleven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Tom was a true friend to all with whom he associated and always had a smile for everyone he met. His love of country, his honor and his integrity will live on in the hearts of those he touched for years to come.

A celebration of his life will be held at the Prescott Elks Lodge #330 located at 6245 E. Highway 69, Prescott Valley, Ariz., on April 30, 2006, at 3 p.m.

Information provided by survivors.

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PATRICK MICHAEL LEALOS

San Fernando Police Department / California Department of Motor Vehicles

-----Original Message-----
From: Randy Ballin <rballin@wsati.org>
Sent: Tue, June 22, 2010 4:35:08 PM
Subject: Obituary for Patrick Michael Lealos

Gary,

Don't know if you have received this info.  Pat Lealos was a San Fernando PD auto dick for many years, and a DMV Investigator in Ventura after PD retirement. He attended WSATI occasionally when it was in the SF Valley area. If you could note his passing in the website, it would be greatly appreciated. 

Randy

December 23, 1945 - April 21, 2010 Little did we know that day that God would call his name, although some say he knew it, it still hurts us just the same. If we only knew today that tomorrow would not come, then I'd make today last a lifetime and tomorrow be forever gone. He left us with his love and memories, and for this we can't complain. So remember him with smiles and laughter, he wouldn't want it any other way! Patrick was born in Washington and grew up in San Fernando. He served the city as a police officer and detective. Later he went on to the DMV as a Special Investigator where he retired in 1998. Patrick passed away in St. Augustine, Florida with his family by his side. Survivors include his wife, Maria Lealos; brothers, John, Gary and Terry; sisters, Debi, Shelly and Diana; daughter, Jennifer Ritter; step children, Vanessa, Sharon and Jean Paul; grandchildren, Shane, Melissa, Max, Ashley, Nicholas and Liliana; and mother-in-law, Mercedes. (Published in Los Angeles Daily News on June 20, 2010)

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EMILE MAASSEN

Automobile Club of Southern California
1985 WSATI Southern Chapter President

Emile Maassen, a long-time member of the WSATI Southern Chapter, passed away on October 10, 2014.  Emile worked for the Automobile Club of Southern California Special Investigation Unit for 35 years, retiring in 1988, and coming back to work part-time until he "retired" again in 1996.  Emile was the 1985 WSATI Southern Chapter Past President after moving up the officer "ranks."  Emile was also the 1996 recipient of the WSATI Southern Chapters prestigious Billy Osborn Memorial Award.

I always enjoyed Emile's "accent" when talking to him and his great sense of humor.  Whenever we had a WSATI meeting in Palm Springs after Emile's retirement, he would show up as his "vacation" home was not far away.

Another long-time WSATI member who will be missed... Gary

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GENE MEREGILLANO

Escondido Police Department / National Auto Theft Bureau / Mercury Insurance
1978 WSATI Southern Chapter President

Ladies and Gentlemen:                                                                                                            June 16, 2005

A few notes regarding the passing of Gene Meregillano, 1978 WSATI Southern Chapter President and 1996 Billy Osborn Award recipient...Gary

-----Original Message-----
From: Stowell, Mark A. <mstowell@nicb.org>
Sent: Thu, 16 Jun 2005 12:54:03 -0500
Subject: Gene Meregillano Services

Gary, as I related to you the other day, Harold, "Gene" Meregillano passed away this week after a prolonged bout with cancer.  Gene was formerly with Escondido PD and the National Automobile Theft Bureau, (1980 -1989), and was an active member and former President of WSATI, Southern Chapter.

A graveside service is planned for Gene as follows:

Monday June 20, 2005
11 AM
Oakhill Cemetary
2640 Glenridge Road, Escondido, Ca.
Ph: (760) 745-1781

Ya might integrate the mapquest information with the message.  Thanx as always.  MAS

Mark A. Stowell
Senior Special Agent
Vehicle Manufacturer Liaison
National Insurance Crime Bureau
Area 3  (So. Ca. Region)
Office Ph: (562) 691-9219
E-Mail: mstowell@nicb.org
--------------------------- 

FORMER ESCONDIDO COP, FAMILY MAN REMEMBERED 

By: LORELL FLEMING - Staff Writer 

MURRIETA ---- Harold "Gene" Meregillano might have been disliked by car thieves, but it appears that he was loved and 
respected by just about everyone else. 

Meregillano, who spent many years as an auto theft detective with the Escondido Police Department, died Sunday after battling several illnesses through the years, his wife Lelia said.  He was 71. 

In addition to his wife, Meregillano is survived by his five children. 

Meregillano was born in Pasadena, but moved to Escondido as a young child and graduated from Escondido High School in 1952.  He went on to become a police officer with the Escondido Police Department from 1966 to 1980, including time spent targeting car thieves. 

Meregillano's first wife died of cancer nearly 20 years ago. He and Leila moved to Murrieta about eight years ago. 

"He was a one of the best auto theft detectives in the State of California," said Dick Schleigh, a former captain with the Escondido Police Department. "Gene was good and thorough and reliable.  I was proud of him and his work." 

In his work, Meregillano often came across youngsters in trouble, his wife said. 

"Gene would take those kids under his wing and help them," Leila Meregillano said. "He would talk to them about doing what's right." 

"Parents .. (would write) Gene letters, thanking him for his help," she added. 

Meregillano later worked for the National Auto Theft Bureau between 1981 and 1988, and as a fraud investigator for Mercury Insurance between 1990 and 1995. 

Police work did not harden Meregillano, his wife said. Gene Meregillano had a romantic side to him and for the first year after their first date ---- on May 27, 1989 ---- he sent her long-stem red roses on the 27th of each month, she said. 

"He was this big, tough cop, but when we were alone he'd cry at sad movies," Lelia Meregillano recalled. "He's that type of guy." 

She describes her husband as a very spiritual man, who was a Pentecostal Christian and attended a few years of Bible College in the Los Angeles area during his youth. 

When he wasn't working on or spending time with his family, Gene Meregillano spent time on the other joys of his life: music, motorcycles and model cars.

Meregillano led his own local country western band, "The Country Playboys." The group often performed in the former Oakvale Lodge in Valley Center and in a few Escondido venues. Meregillano sang and played bass. 

He was also a fan of Harley Motorcycles, his wife said, adding that her husband knew a lot about nearly every car ever made. 

His extracurricular activities also included serving as president of the Palomar Model "A" Ford Club of America, and participation on the Escondido Police Motorcycle Drill Team and the Escondido Horse Mounted "Posse." 

A graveside service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at Oak Hill Memorial Park in Escondido, 2640 Glenridge Road. 

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be sent to the Building Fund for Lighthouse Assembly of God Church, 38435 Innovation Court #108, Murrieta, CA., 92563. 

Contact staff writer Lorell Fleming at (760) 731-5798 or lfleming@nctimes.com. 

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WILLIAM JOHN PORTS

Anaheim Police Department / National Insurance Crime Bureau

Ladies and Gentlemen:                                                                                                            July 19, 2005

I think that most of us who knew Bill through OCATI and WSATI when he was at Anaheim PD and NICB, used to enjoy his little jokes.  I know for me, the irony of NICB assigning Bill Ports to the Los Angeles Ports as part of his job was not lost... and I know how much effort he put in with U.S. Customs to assist me and other detectives in getting stolen vehicles back that had been containerized and shipped out... 

I last saw Bill a few months ago at the Block of Orange.  He and his wife were walking around the mall.  He told me that he was remodeling his house and enjoying the time he was having to do things around the house.  Little did I know that would be the last time I saw him.  He was very happy and seemed to be enjoying his retirement.

These past few years have been difficult for many of us, losing a lot of friends in the WSATI family.  I know that after Carol and Fritz passed away last year, Marianne Finney and I were talking and thinking that 2004 was a bad year... it looks like 2005 is outdoing 2004.

Gary

The following article regarding Bill Ports, retired Anaheim Police Auto Theft Detective, retired NICB Agent, and WSATI Southern Chapter member, was in the 7/19/05 edition of the Orange County Register.

William John Ports, 64, of Anaheim, a police officer, died July 14, 2005, of a heart attack. Services: 9 a.m. today, Pope John Paul II Polish Center, Yorba Linda. Arrangements by Ferrara Colonial Mortuary,
Orange.

Wife, Frances; son, Daniel; daughters, Angela McKee, Diane Stresak, Christina Ports; sisters, Norma Ports, Celeste Adams; one grandchild.

-----Original Message-----
From: Keith Jackson
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2005 06:16
Subject: Re: Bill Ports

Gary;  Another sad bit of news.  Bill was a great guy.  Keith
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis Howe
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2005 08:21
Subject: Re: Bill Ports

Bill was one of the good guys.  An excellent Auto Theft Investigator and one hell of a nice guy.  He had all of the connections in Anaheim for the Training Scions in 1982.  He was not only on the committee for the program but single handily made almost all the arrangements and the three day affair changed the way W.S.A.T.I. conducted those scions and started them on a profitable road.  He will surly be missed.  Dennis

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WILLIAM "BILL" ROBERTSON


United States Marine Corps, Los Angeles Police Department
National Insurance Crime Bureau
1988 WSATI Southern Chapter President

Bill Robertson passed away on Sunday, January 22, 2017.  Bill was a long-time member of the WSATI Southern Chapter, serving as our President in 1988.  Bill was a Marine Corps veteran before joining the Los Angeles Police Department.  Bill was probably best known for his assignment at LAPD CECATS.  Shortly after Bill retired from LAPD, he became a NICB Special Agent.  While working for NICB, Bill was assigned to the LAPD ‘BAD’ CATS.  He supported their mission in recovering stolen vehicles, locating ‘Chop Shops’, identifying stolen vehicle parts and stolen cargo. 

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GEORGE SENTMAN

Los Angeles Police Department / Avis (Grand) Rent-A-Car

-----Original Message----- 
From: Jerry Park <jpark@wsati.org> 
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 20:18 
Subject: Passing Of George Sentman 

Gary- 

This is to inform you of the passing of George Sentman, retired L.A.P.D. and Avis (Grand Rent a Car).  Funeral services will be on Thursday, March 3, 05 at 1200.  The location is Forest Lawn Cemetery, 1712 
Glendale Avenue, in the city of Glendale.  George was a great friend of WSATI and former recipient of the Billy Osborn Award.  Please pass this along.

Jerry Park (Retired S.D.P.D. and Good Friend) 

For those of you who had the opportunity to work with or know George, he was another of those amazing people who would help you out in an instant.  I remember George assisting me when he was managing the LAX operation and I couldn't get cooperation from the Santa Ana zone management.  He arranged to have Bill Borman come out from NY Corporate to explain to the Santa Ana management that something had to be done about their lack of concern for inventory losses off their lots.  George retired from Avis and enjoyed dancing.  He was presented the Billy Osborn Award in 1997, along with his long time friend, Jerry Park.  They were both recognized as co-recipients of the Award for their dedication to WSATI. 

Gary 

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ALAN TAYLOR


Kent Police / IAATI International Director

-----Original Message-----
From:  Gary Labb
Sent: Thu, July 15, 2010 7:07:38 AM
Subject: The Passing of Alan Taylor

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I received this message this morning from IAATI Executive Director John Abounader.

This is very sad news.  Alan was a man who was not only known to the many IAATI members throughout the world for his auto theft related accomplishments but also to many of us for his outstanding sense of humor and friendship.  Alan will definitely be missed.  May he rest in peace. 

Sincerely, Gary
Gary Labb, 2007 IAATI WRC Past President
 

-----Original Message-----
From: John Abounader <jvabounader@iaati.org>
Sent: Thu, July 15, 2010 3:28:51 AM
Subject: Passing of Alan Taylor

It is with a heavy heart that I advise you all of the Passing of Alan Taylor of the UK Branch.  He passed away on July 14 after a courageous bout with cancer.

Alan has been in IAATI and the UK Branch for as long as I can remember, and was a tribute to all IAATI and the UK Branch stand for.  He will be greatly missed.

As soon as I hear of funeral arrangements, I will let you know.  Please join me in saying a prayer for Alan and his family.

Please click here for Alan's obituary.

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KENDRICK "K.B." WRIGHT

California Highway Patrol - Southern Division Investigative Services Unit

-----Original Message-----
From: Gary Labb 
Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2013 7:27 PM
Subject: Services for Retired CHP Auto Theft Investigator K.B. Wright

There are many of you who knew K.B... K.B. was one of Fritz' good friends and an Investigator at CHP Southern ISU.  He was involved in many of the early OCATT investigations when we made our way into L.A. County all so often... Gary
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis Frias <dfrias@wsati.org>
To: Gary Labb 
Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2013 3:57 PM
Subject: Update on Services for Retired CHP Auto Theft Investigator K.B. Wright

Gary, 
Could you please post this updated information regarding memorial services for Ken Wright.

Kendrick "K.B." Wright
Born: 03/08/1939  Died: 04/11/2013
California Highway Patrol 09/31/1968 - 03/31/1999
Vehicle Theft Investigator for CHP 08/30/1974 - 03/31/1999

Obituary posted in the L.A. Times dated Friday, May 3, 2013

Kendrick Bryan Wright

An honored California Highway Patrol Investigator, Kendrick Bryan (K.B.) Wright was highly regarded and cherished by all.  He retired after 32 years of dedicated service.  K.B. was born to Marie and Charleye Wright in Los Angeles, and graduated , with brother Charleye, from Lynwood High School in 1957.  He is survived by his wife Patricia, her 2 children, Shelley and Greg, and Ken's only son Josh.  Services will be held at Journey of Faith Church in Manhattan Beach May 3rd at 10 am.  In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in his name to PKDcure.org.

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