Officers from the Escondido Police Dept. will be recognized on Wednesday, March 29 by the Automobile Club of Southern California and the California Highway Patrol for their recovery of stolen vehicles. In Escondido, where 658 vehicles were stolen in 2016, Officers Robert Bellamy, Terrence Pizzuti, Andrew Wyse and Mark Zeller recovered 70 stolen vehicles and made 19 arrests. The value of these recovered vehicles is nearly $400,000.
A representative of the Auto Club’s Special Investigations Unit and CHP Captain Amy Mangan will present the awards at a local high school.
Car theft is the number one property crime in America. And California is the state with the most stolen vehicles. In 2015, 180,000 vehicles were stolen in California at an estimated value of $1 billion, according to the CHP. The top three stolen vehicles in 2015 in the Golden State were the 1996 Honda Accord, the 1998 Honda Civic and the 1994 Honda Accord.
The 10851 Award from the Auto Club and CHP recognizes peace officers that make significant contributions to the recovery of stolen vehicles and the arrest of suspected car thieves. The award gets its name from the California Vehicle Code section that prohibits vehicle theft. To qualify for the award, an officer must meet any of the following criteria within a one-year period:
- Make six separate “rolling stolen” (suspect occupied) in-custody arrests
- Recover 12 stolen vehicles, at least three of which are suspect occupied
- Develop information which results in identification of a theft ring, the
arrests of at least two suspects and recovery of at least 10 vehicles.
The Automobile Club of Southern California, the largest affiliate of the AAA federation of motor clubs, has been serving Southern California since 1900. Today, the Auto Club members benefit by the organization’s roadside assistance, financial products, automotive pricing and buying programs, automotive testing and analysis, trip planning services and highway, transportation and safety programs. Information about these products and services is available on the Auto Club’s web site at www.aaa.com