Welcome To The Western Chapter Of The International Association of Auto Theft Investigators

About the Western Regional Chapter

The Western Regional Chapter was formed and received their IAATI Charter in 1988. The WRC is comprised of 3 Canadian Provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan and the States of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. When the WRC was initially formed there was a concern by the local State and Provincial auto theft associations that had been in existence for many years that the WRC would somehow usurp and interfere with their stated objectives and training seminars. As a result of this concern the stated objective of the WRC became one of support for the regional auto theft associations and the training they provided and not to develop a separate Western Regional Chapter Training Seminar. As a result of this stated objective the WRC became known as the "paper chapter" as unlike the other Regional Chapters that make up IAATI, no yearly training seminar would be held so as to conflict with the State and Provincial Auto Theft Associations. This objective remains in place to this day. To further augment the WRC commitment to the local State and Provincial Auto Theft Associations the Board of Directors of the WRC is comprised of the Presidents of the State and Provincial Auto Theft Associations that exist today within the Western Regional Chapter.

AWARD PRESENTATIONS


Lee S. Cole Officer of the Year Award

This award is presented to a member of the law enforcement community who has demonstrated exceptional performance in the area of auto theft prevention and investigation. The award is restricted to active law enforcement personnel who are members in good standing of the Western Regional Chapter of IAATI. The award consists of a plaque and payment of registration fee for the yearly Seminar. A $500.00 cash stipend can be applied for to assist with the recipient's expenses to attend the Annual Seminar (hotel/travel/etc) where the award will be presented. Contact the WRC-IAATI Treasurer Rick Greenwood for information on the requirement to qualify for the stipend. The recipient will be determined by a committee comprised of Western Regional Chapter Executive Board members. Please forward nominations to 2013-2014 WRC-IAATI President Richard Spallinger at rspallinger@wrciaati.org. The cut-off date for the nominated activity is between June 15, 2013 and June 15, 2014. The dates for accepting the 2014 nominations for this award have yet to be determined. The award will be presented at the 2014 Training Seminar that will host the 2014 WRC-IAATI General Meeting / Elections.

The 2013 Award was presented at the November 2013 WSATI Training Meeting / Luncheon in Long Beach on November 21, 2013, due to the recipient being unavailable at the time of the 2013 AATIA Seminar. IAATI Western Regional Chapter President Bud Hood came up to the podium to present the annual WRC-IAATI Lee S. Cole Award. Bud then read the 2013 recipient's nomination and then Bud announced the 2013 WRC-IAATI Lee S. Cole Award recipient was California Highway Patrol Investigator Todd Wolf.

Todd was recognized for an investigation involving a case where an individual was title washing vehicles and obtaining title loans. The estimated loss in this investigation was approximately $240,000.00, (18 vehicles and water craft). The investigation lead to a suspect who was the ring leader in this scam. After conducting a search warrant at the suspect’s place of business, Investigator Wolf discovered the IRS Criminal Investigations Unit was also conducting an investigation and had the suspect in custody. Investigator Wolf met with the IRS and the US Attorney General. Investigator Wolf was invited to join the federal investigation.

The suspect was conducting a fraudulent loan modification business. He would also convince his victims he had a vehicle program that could assist them improve their credit. The suspect or a co-conspirator would bring the victims to several dealerships and purchase 4 to 5 vehicles. The victims were able to keep one of the vehicles as their own. The suspect via the business scam told the victims each vehicle would be paid in full within 6 months including the vehicle they kept for themselves. The suspect would then obtain fraudulent DMV documents to indicate the loan was satisfied and paid in full. These documents were then presented to the DMV. Once the lien holders were removed, the suspect would have co-conspirators go to three title loan companies and obtain title loans. Some of the vehicles were title washed a second time and new title loans were obtained. Additional suspects are being investigated was charges are pending.

Because of Investigators Wolf’s hard work, most of the vehicles and water craft have been recovered. Investigator Wolf testified in front of the federal grand jury. Based on his testimony, 27 felony counts were filed against against the suspect for the vehicle theft portion of the investigation. From the two criminal investigations (state and federal), the suspect was looking at 270 years in federal prison if found guilty. He plead to two felony counts and 4 years in federal prison.

For more on the Lee S. Cole Award, please go to http://www.wsati.org/leecoleaward.html.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Richard Spallinger at rspallinger@wrciaati.org.

WRC-IAATI Executive Board
Achievement of Excellence Award

The award is intended to honor a unit, team or organization possessing the qualifications of an active member of WRC-IAATI and who has distinguished themselves in a multi-disciplined motor vehicle crimes investigation or through their unparalleled support in combating motor vehicle crimes through public education efforts or financial support of an organization undertaking such investigations. Criteria for nominations:

  1. Eligible recipients will be:

    1. Auto Theft Task Force / Unit or Team
    2. Auto Theft Prevention Authority
    3. Insurance Special Investigation Unit
    4. District or Attorney General’s Office
  2. Recipients must be an active member of the state auto theft chapter and the WRC-IAATI
  3. The nominated investigation or documented support must generally be within the year of the award however multi-year investigations will be considered

The Award:

  1. Will consist of a plaque with the organizational winner’s name, the year and investigation’s designation
  2. A $500 stipend will be made available to the winner to defray costs associated with attending the conference to receive the award. Please contact WRC-IAATI Treasurer Rick Greenwood for information on the requirement to qualify for the stipend.

Please submit a 1 page description of the nomination to the WRC-IAATI Executive Board (eboard@wrciaati.org) by a date to be determined. The award will be presented at the Training Seminar hosting the WRC-IAATI 2014 General Meeting and Elections.

The 2013 Award was presented at the 2013 Arizona Auto Theft Investigators Association (AATIA) Training Seminar in Laughlin, NV on September 12, 2013. The WRC-IAATI Executive Board Achievement of Excellence Award was presented to the Orange County (CA) Auto Theft Taskforce (OCATT) represented by Task Force Commander Brian Lee, Task Force Sergeant Bob Barkley, and Lead Case Investigator Kraig Palmer. As the result of lead investigator Kraig Palmer's investigation into the theft of rental cars obtained by fraudulent credit card information, OCATT detectives located and recovered 42 vehicles with an estimated value of over $1,200,000, and 27 suspects were arrested. Additionally, two stolen guns were recovered and numerous charges were added for possession of narcotics. Several probation searches and search warrants were also conducted. During the execution of one of the probation searches, OCATT detectives discovered an advanced credit card manufacturing operation and recovered several thousand dollars in credit card manufacturing equipment and software. OCATT detectives also recovered over 100 credit card account profiles used for credit card theft. After the primary suspect’s arrest, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office filed 35 felony counts against her.

For more on the WRC-IAATI Executive Board Achievement of Excellence Award, please go to http://www.wsati.org/wrciaatiaward.html.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Richard Spallinger at rspallinger@wrciaati.org.

Gerald “Jerry” Boyer Memorial Award

This award is presented to a member of the Western Regional Chapter of IAATI or a member of one of the WSATI Chapters for outstanding service and unselfish dedication to the organization. The recipient can be law enforcement or civilian, active or retired. A committee comprised of Western States Auto Theft Investigators Association, Northwest Chapter Executive Board Members will determine the recipient. Please forward nominations to Frank Zangar at fzangar@wsati.org along with a brief background of the nominee, along with a contact telephone number and e-mail address of the nominator. Nominations should be sent via e-mail to Frank Zangar at fzangar@wsati.org.

The 2010 Award was presented at the 2010 WSATI Training Seminar in San Diego on May 27, 2010. Northwest Chapter President Doug Young presented the 2010 award to Frank Zangar who could not make it to the WSATI Training Seminar. It was presented to Frank on June 10, 2010 in Washington. Frank is the LoJack Law Enforcement Liaison in Washington, former member of the Washington State Patrol, Past President of IAATI WRC and Past President of the WSATI Northwest Chapter.

For more on the Gerald “Jerry” Boyer Memorial Award, please go to http://www.wsati.org/boyeraward.html.

2014 Annual General Meeting/Elections

The 2014 WRC-IAATI Annual General Meeting / Elections, will take place during the 2014 Training Seminar that will host the 2014 WRC-IAATI General Meeting / Elections. A date/time for the WRC-IAATI General Meeting has not been set yet.

As we get closer to the 2014 WRC-IAATI Annual General Meeting / Elections, we will be asking that anyone who has an interest in joining the 2014-2015 WRC-IAATI Executive Board send a resume to the current Executive Board members eboard@wrciaati.org expressing what position you are seeking.

The WRC-IAATI Executive Board is currently seeking interested individuals to become WRC-IAATI Directors in their geographical area. Please go to http://www.wrciaati.org/officers.asp to see the current vacant Director positions. If you have an interest, please contact the Executive Board at eboard@wrciaati.org. Our goal is to have all geographical areas in the Western Regional Chapter represented.

As a reminder, the WRC-IAATI, unlike IAATI, makes no distinction between "active" and "affiliate" members in regards to their ability to be an WRC-IAATI Executive Board Officer or an WRC-IAATI Director. Everyone is welcome to serve.

The 2013 WRC-IAATI Annual General Meeting / Elections took place during the AATIA Training Seminar in Laughlin, NV on 09/11/13. The following were the results of the elections of the 2013-2014 WRC-IAATI Executive Board: President Rick Spallinger, NICB; 1st Vice President Annette Jacobs, Phoenix (AZ) PD; 2nd Vice President Dennis Frias, Locator Technologies/OCRA/VINMonitor; 3rd Vice President John Bartolone, CA DMV; Associate Director Michael O'Neill, Hagerty Insurance SIU; Treasurer Rick Greenwood, Riverside (CA) PD; and Past President Bud Hood, Orange County (CA) SD / OCATT [Retired].

General Information

The Western Chapter is comprised of the Canadian Provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan and the States of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Please contact Richard Spallinger via e-mail at rspallinger@wrciaati.org for further information on becoming a member of the Western Chapter or news on upcoming seminars and or training.

Should any Western Chapter members have notices that they wish to post on this Web Site pertaining to upcoming training seminars or training opportunities please advise Gary Labb via e-mail at glabb@wrciaati.org.

Should any Western Chapter members have notices that they wish to post on this Web Site pertaining to employment or information that may be of interest to our membership please advise Richard Spallinger via e-mail at rspallinger@wrciaati.org.





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This Page was
last edited on
12/11/2013