Logo (c) 2007 - 2014 WSATI Southern Chapter
WESTERN STATES AUTO THEFT
INVESTIGATORS ASSOCIATION
SOUTHERN CHAPTER
MEMBERS IN THE NEWS
For information regarding the members who have received the coveted "Billy Osborn Memorial Award" please click here.

BRAD BALENTINE

Brad Balentine, SIU Director for David Morse & Associates, is interviewed by the Insurance Journal in a video referring to "How Surveillance Can Assist Claims Handling."  The video is available at http://www.insurancejournal.tv/videos/13302/.  Submitted by Lou Koven, NICB.

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LARRY IRWIN

Larry Irwin, long-time California Highway Patrol, and then long-time NICB Special Agent assigned to the San Bernardino County Auto Theft Task Force (SANCATT, finally decided to call it quits and spend his days golfing.  Larry recently retired after 20 years with NICB.  Photo of Larry (right) receiving an award for his service from NICB regional director Ralph Lumpkin.  Photo received from NICB Agent Lou Koven on 09/05/13.

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BUD HOOD

At the IAATI Western Regional Chapter Annual General Membership Meeting held during CATI's 39th Annual Rocky Mountain Vehicle Crimes Seminar, September 16-19, 2012, Bud Hood was elected as the 2012-2013 President of the IAATI Western Regional Chapter.

Bud was a long-time member of the Orange County Sheriff's Department, as well as the Orange County Auto Theft Taskforce.  Bud has been involved in the WSATI Southern Chapter, the IAATI Western Regional Chapter, and the Orange County Auto Theft Investigators Association, serving as an officer in the organizations.  Bud is the 2007 WSATI Southern Chapter Past President.

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 RICK GREENWOOD           DAVE PETRELLI

During the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) 58th Annual Training Seminar held in Orlando, FL on August 22-27, 2010,  Rick Greenwood, submitted an application to become the 4th Vice President of  IAATI.  After review of the application and oral interview, Rick was selected to be the 4th Vice President of IAATI 2010 - 2011.

Rick is a long time member of the Riverside Police Department and has been involved in the WSATI Southern Chapter and the IAATI Western Regional Chapter, serving as an officer in both organizations.  Rick is the 2008 WSATI Southern Chapter Past President and the 2009 IAATI Western Regional Chapter Past President.

During the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) 58th Annual Training Seminar held in Orlando, FL on August 22-27, 2010,  Dave Petrelli, submitted an application to become a National Director of IAATI.  After review of the application and oral interview, Dave was selected to be a National Director for 2010 - 2011.

Dave is currently the Special Investigations Unit Manager for Workmen's Auto Insurance.  He previously retired from over 20 years in State Farm’s Special Investigation Department where he was employed as their first SIU Section Manager. He was also the Western Regional Manager for PT&C Forensics, Fire and Explosion Unit. Dave is a recognized expert and instructor. Dave has been involved in the WSATI Southern Chapter and the IAATI Western Regional Chapter.  Dave is the 2011 WSATI Southern Chapter Past President and the 2006 IAATI Western Regional Chapter Past President.

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GARY LABB
L-R: Gary Labb, Seminar MC Dave Petrelli, 2010 Northern Chapter President Don Farnham

The 2010 WSATI Annual Training Seminar was held at the Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center in San Diego on May 24th-28th, 2010.

On May 27th, one of our WSATI Southern Chapter members was recognized for his many, many years of service as a vehicle theft investigator and his "Exceptional Work Ethics, Attention to Detail in the Detection, Apprehension, and Prosecution of Vehicle Theft."  Retired Santa Ana Police / OCATT Detective Gary Labb was awarded the WSATI Northern Chapter's Distinguished Service Award. The award was presented to Gary by 2010 Northern Chapter President Don Farnham

Gary is the 2000 WSATI Southern Chapter Past President, the 1993 Orange County Auto Theft Investigators Association (OCATI) Past President, the 2007 Past President of the Internation Association of Auto Theft Investigators Western Regional Chapter (IAATI-WRC), and a long-time member of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI). Gary and his instructing partner, Jim Hayes, continue to instruct "Vehicle Theft Investigation" classes in the Western states.

Gary has been the WSATI Southern Chapter Webmaster since the website's inception in 1999.

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RICHARD KNAPP
L-R: Richard Knapp receiving Certificate of Appreciation from Jim Willimas The framed certificate presented to Richard Knapp

At the January 21, 2010 WSATI Training Meeting Luncheon, 2009 WSATI Southern Chapter President Jim Williams requested that WSATI Legal Counsel Richard O. Knapp join him at the podium.  Jim then presented Richard with a certificate of appreciation from WSATI for his long involvement with the organization.  Richard originally was introduced to WSATI when he gave a training presentation at the November 1998 training meeting.  Richard soon became involved with giving legal counsel for WSATI, and became the WSATI Southern Chapter legal counsel.  The certificate read: 

Logo (c) 2007 - 2010 WSATI Southern Chapter

WESTERN STATES AUTO
THEFT INVESTIGATORS

"Coming Together is a Beginning. Keeping Together is Progress.
Working Together is Success." - Henry Ford

In Grateful Recognition of your Continuing
Service and Support We Gladly Present

Richard O. Knapp, Esq. 
Legal Counsel

This Award Honoring Your Service and Dedication to the
Western States Auto Theft Investigators Mission & Principles

(Signed) John Bartolone
WSATI President
John Bartolone - 2010

Richard has been actively involved in the WSATI Southern Chapter and the IAATI Western Regional Chapter, acting as Legal Counsel for both organizations.  Richard is at the forefront of fighting fraudulent insurance claims, acting on behalf of many insurance companies.

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DENNIS FRIAS
2010 WSATI Southern President John Bartolone The framed certificate presented to Dennis Frias L-R: John Bartolone presenting framed certficate to Dennis Frias

On January 16, 2010, a retirement party was held for 1997 WSATI Southern Chapter Past President Dennis Frias to celebrate his retirement from the California Highway Patrol after 30 years of service.  The party was held at the Irvine Marriott and about 200 of Dennis' friends, family, and co-workers gathered to honor him.  During the recognition portion of the program, 2010 WSATI Southern President John Bartolone presented Dennis with a framed certificate.  The certificate read:

Logo (c) 2007 - 2010 WSATI Southern Chapter

WESTERN STATES AUTO
THEFT INVESTIGATORS

"Coming Together is a Beginning. Keeping Together is Progress.
Working Together is Success." - Henry Ford

In Grateful Recognition of your Continuing
Service and Support We Gladly Present

Sergeant Dennis Frias
California Highway Patrol

This Award Honoring Your Service and Dedication to the
Western States Auto Theft Investigators Mission & Principles

(Signed) John Bartolone
WSATI President
John Bartolone - 2010

Dennis has been actively involved in the WSATI Southern Chapter, IAATI Western Regional Chapter, and the North American Export Committee.  Dennis is actively involved in putting together the training for the upcoming WSATI Training Seminar to be held in May 2010 in San Diego.

For an Adobe .pdf copy of Dennis' retirement flyer click here.

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RICK GREENWOOD

At the IAATI Western Regional Chapter Annual General Membership Meeting held during the 37th Annual WSATI Training Seminar in Monterey, September 28-October 1, 2008, Rick Greenwood was elected as the 2009 Calendar Year President of the IAATI Western Regional Chapter.

Rick is a long time member of the Riverside Police Department and has been involved in the WSATI Southern Chapter and IAATI Western Regional Chapter, serving as an officer in both organizations.  Rick is the 2008 WSATI Southern Chapter Past President and one of the 2008-2009 IAATI National Directors.

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SKIP DAVIDSON

At the IAATI Western Regional Chapter Annual General Membership Meeting held during the 36th Annual WSATI Training Seminar in San Diego, September 10-14, 2007, Skip Davidson was elected as the 2008 Calendar Year President of the IAATI Western Regional Chapter.

Following a career with LAPD, Skip became a private investigator.

Skip is a long time member of the WSATI Southern Chapter, having served as the Chapter President in 1991.  Skip has also been a long time member of IAATI having served on the IAATI Western Regional Chapter Executive Board the past five years.

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           RICK GREENWOOD           DAVE PETRELLI

During the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) 55th Annual Training Seminar held in Litchfield Park, AZ on August 5-10, 2007,  Rick Greenwood, submitted an application to become a National Director of IAATI.  After review of the application and oral interview, Rick was selected to be an IAATI National Director for 2007 - 2008.

Rick is a long time member of the Riverside Police Department and has been involved in the WSATI Southern Chapter and IAATI Western Regional Chapter, serving as an officer in both organizations.  Rick is the 2008 WSATI Southern Chapter Past President and the 2008 IAATI WRC 1st Vice President.

During the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) 55th Annual Training Seminar held in Litchfield Park, AZ on August 5-10, 2007,  Dave Petrelli, submitted an application to become an Associate Director of IAATI.  After review of the application and oral interview, Dave was selected to be an IAATI Associate Director for 2007 - 2008.

Dave is retired from over 20 years in State Farm’s Special Investigation Department where he was employed as their first SIU Section Manager. He is now Western Regional Manager for PT&C Forensics, Fire and Explosion Unit. Dave is a recognized expert and instructor. Dave is the elected 2008 WSATI Southern Chapter Treasurer.

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GARY LABB

The 2006 WSATI Annual Training Seminar was held at Harrah's Tahoe Hotel in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada on October 2nd-4th, 2006.

One of our own WSATI Southern Chapter members was recognized for his many, many years of service as a vehicle theft investigator and his "Outstanding Service and Unselfish Dedication to the Western States Auto Theft Investigators."  Recently retired Santa Ana Police / OCATT Detective Gary Labb was awarded the prestigious Gerald "Jerry" Boyer Memorial Award. The award was presented to Gary by Frank Zangar, WSATI Northwest President.  Gary and his instructing partner, Jim Hayes, continue to instruct "Vehicle Theft Investigation" classes in the western states. 

Gary is a WSATI Southern Chapter Past President, an Orange County Auto Theft Investigators Association (OCATI) Past President, and a member of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI). 

During the WSATI Training Seminar, Gary was also elected 2007 President of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) Western Regional Chapter.

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RICK GREENWOOD

During the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) 54th Annual Training Seminar in Winnipeg, Canada, August 6-11, 2006, Rick Greenwood, submitted an application to become an Associate Director of IAATI.  After review of the application and oral interview, Rick was selected to be an IAATI Associate Director for 2006 - 2007.

Rick is a long time member of the Riverside Police Department and has been involved in the WSATI Southern Chapter and IAATI Western Regional Chapter, serving as an officer in both organizations.

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LOU KOVEN AND GABE MARQUEZ

Two California Law Enforcement Officers Honored for Work Combating Heavy Equipment Theft Special Award Presented at The Rental Show

Feb. 6, 2006 (ORLANDO, FLA.)  Two California law enforcement officers were honored earlier today for their efforts in combating heavy equipment theft in the rental equipment industry. The award – the ARA Insurance Services/National Equipment Register (AIS/NER) Award, presented at The Rental Show, the annual convention and trade show of the American Rental Association – went to Detective Lou Koven of the Los Angeles Police Department and Investigator Gabe Marquez of the California Highway Patrol. 

The AIS/NER award recognizes a law enforcement officer or agent who has performed exceptional services to the rental industry through the recovery of rental equipment or through theft prevention initiatives. 

“These two law enforcement agents have performed exceptional service to our industry through the recovery of stolen rental equipment, prevention initiatives, and by increasing awareness of the magnitude of this issue,” said Phil Kelling, president of ARA Insurance Services. 

“Heavy equipment theft is one of the rental equipment industry’s more complex challenges, costing the rental equipment industry hundreds of millions of dollars a year,” said David Shillingford, president of National Equipment Register. “In the ongoing battle with equipment theft, law enforcement officers make an often unrecognized contribution,” he added.

Koven and Marquez were responsible for the identification and recovery of numerous machines and worked extensively with local law enforcement, rental companies, ARA and NER to establish an equipment crime task force that has already had a dramatic effect on equipment theft levels. 

ARA Insurance Services and ARA of California, a state association of ARA, granted $1,000 to the Los Angeles Police Department and another $1,000 to the California Highway Patrol to continue assisting rental owners with theft prevention. 

The award was established in 2004 as part of the partnership among the American Rental Association (ARA), ARA Insurance Services (AIS) and the National Equipment Register (NER), a partnership central to ARA’s efforts to help their members combat the serious problem of equipment theft in the rental industry. 

As a member benefit, ARA offers its members the opportunity, at no cost, to list 1,000 pieces of equipment on the National Equipment Register database. NER’s database and it’s Police Hotline provide law enforcement with 24 hour access to equipment identification experts and data on equipment losses and ownership from equipment owners, insurance companies and manufacturers. This member benefit is endorsed by ARA Insurance Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ARA. 

ARA, AIS and NER will further demonstrate their commitment to helping law enforcement combat equipment theft by hosting more than 40 law enforcement officers from Florida and surrounding states for specialized theft prevention training during The Rental Show. Officers will attended interactive classroom sessions and acquire hands-on examination of the equipment on exhibit by vendors at The Rental Show. Similar training is offered through ARA’s state associations in partnership with NER.

About ARA

The American Rental Association (www.ARARental.org) is an international trade association for the owners of equipment rental businesses and the manufacturers and suppliers of rental equipment. Domestic annual rental industry revenue is approximately $31.1 billion. ARA members, which include more than 7,500 rental businesses and 1,100 manufacturers and suppliers, are  located in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, every Canadian province, and more than 30 countries worldwide. The Rental Show, ARA’s annual convention and trade show, is the world’s largest rental equipment trade show. 

About NER

The National Equipment Register, Inc. (www.NERusa.com) was established in 2001 to increase the recovery rate of stolen farm and construction equipment by improving the volume, quality and availability of information available to law enforcement investigating suspicious equipment.  NER has developed national databases of equipment ownership (13 million records) and theft (80,000 records) and provides this information and equipment identification advice to police 24 hours-a-day.  Equipment owners register their equipment with NER to ensure that it can be identified quickly, even before a theft has been reported. Theft is also deterred by placing NER decals on registered equipment to warn thieves of the increases chance of detection and arrest.  These processes and relationships have directly resulted in the recovery of over $7 million of stolen equipment, much more if related recoveries are included. 

For an Adobe .pdf document version of the press release (100 kb) click here.

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DAVE PETRELLI

The 2005 WSATI Annual Training Seminar was held at The Beach Resort in Monterey, California on September 25-27, 2005.

Long time State Farm Special Investigations Unit Supervisor, then Director-Special Investigations for
Alliance United Insurance Company, Dave Petrelli, was elected 2006 President of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) Western Regional Chapter.  Dave has been involved with the WSATI Southern Chapter for decades. Dave is a recognized expert and instructor. Dave was elected 2007 WSATI Chapter Sergeant-At-Arms in 2006.

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CAROL VANNATTER
IAATI Vice President Mikel Longman presenting Carol's Director's Award to Dan Brogdon
The 2004 WSATI Annual Training Seminar was held at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego, California on September 28-October 1, 2004.

International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) 4th Vice President Mikel Longman presented an IAATI Director's Award posthumously to Carol VanNatter.  The award was accepted on behalf of Carol's family by AAA Southern California SIU Assistant Group Manager Dan Brogdon.

Carol was a long time employee of the AAA Southern California SIU.  Carol was a long time member and Past President of the WSATI Southern Chapter.  Carol also served for many years as the Treasurer of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) Western Regional Chapter.  She was also Director of Exhibitions for the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators.  Carol was also very involved in both the Orange County and San Diego County ATAC Awards.

You can read more about Carol by clicking here.

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DENNIS FRIAS
Peter Girard Investigative Award Plaque Dennis Frias holds Peter Girard Investigative Award while Mark Stowell holds the Award Plaque Peter Girard Investigative Award

At the January 16, 2003 WSATI Southern Chapter Training Meeting, NICB Special Agent Mark Stowell came up to the podium.  Mark said that he had been asked by the North American Export Committee to make a special presentation.  Mark said that during the last meeting of the North American Export Committee, an award was made to an investigator who could not attend the meeting.  The award, the Peter Girard Investigative Award, was dedicated to the memory of Peter Girard, U.S. Customs Service Supervisory Agent and NAEC member.  The 2002 winner was former CHP FEAR Investigator Dennis Frias who has since promoted and is the Southern Division ISU Sergeant. Mark called Dennis up to the podium where the award was formally given to Dennis. 

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MARIANNE FINNEY
Marianne celebrating with Tracie Mortensen and Carol VanNatter

The 2002 Annual WSATI Training Seminar was held at the Caesars Convention Center in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada on September 29-October 1, 2002. 

Long time State Farm Special Investigations Unit Investigator Marianne Finney was elected 2003 President of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) Western Regional Chapter.  Marianne is a Past President of  WSATI Southern Chapter and a long time member of IAATI.

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DENNIS FRIAS

The 2001 WSATI Annual Training Seminar was held at the Doral Palm Springs Resort in Palm Springs, California on September 30-October 3, 2001.

Jerry Boyer presented Dennis Frias with the Richard A. Smith Memorial Award for all his years of dedication to WSATI. 

Dennis is a long time member of the California Highway Patrol.  Dennis is a Past President of the WSATI Southern Chapter.

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FRITZ GRIMSLEY
Sergeant Fritz Grimsley receiving the award The Trooper James E. Gain Award Fritz thanking all in attendance for the award
The 1999 WSATI Training Seminar was held at the Monterey Beach Hotel in Seaside, California on November 7th - 11th, 1999.

One of our own WSATI Southern Chapter members was recognized for his many, many years of service as a vehicle theft investigator/sergeant... OCATT's very own CHP Sergeant "Fritz" Grimsley was awarded the prestigious (Washington State Patrol) Trooper James E. Gain Award.

You can read more about Fritz by clicking here.

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JOAN PITTS, MARIANNE FINNEY,
AND CAROL VANNATTER
2000 IAATI Western Chapter President Joan Pitts / IAATI Directors Award Winner WSATI Past President Marianne Finney / IAATI Directors Award Winner IAATI Western Chapter Secretary/Treasurer Carol VanNatter
At the annual International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) conference held in Dearborn, Michigan, WSATI Southern Chapter Past Presidents Joan Pitts and Marianne Finney were awarded the 1999 IAATI Directors Award.

Quoting from the IAATI APB Magazine "This year's recipients have year after year demonstrated their willingness to get in the trenches and get the job done, not to seek recognition, but to give their best for something they believe in.  They have worked side by side (literally) to work at seminars in whatever capacity they could fill, registration, marketing, arranging and working with spousal programs, etc."

"During the presentation, it was stated that these people have been 'joined at the hip' for many years so it was only fitting that they should both receive a well deserved recognition for their efforts."

Joan Pitts was also elected President of the Western Regional Chapter of IAATI.  Carol Van Natter, the third member of this set of triplets, was elected as the Secretary / Treasurer of the Western Chapter of IAATI.

You can read more about Carol by clicking here.

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CAROL VANNATTER

The 1998 WSATI Training Seminar was held at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego, California on September 30-October 2, 1998.

A surprise for the WSATI Southern Chapter was the dual presentation of the WSATI Northwest Chapter (Washington State Patrol) Trooper James S. Gain Award to our very own “brick,” Carol VanNatter, and WSATI Northwest President Darrell Ehlers

Carol is a Past President of WSATI Southern Chapter, as well as participating in the Orange County Auto Theft Investigators Association (OCATI), and the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI).

You can read more about Carol by clicking here.

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