The mission of the Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) is to enforce, prosecute, and prevent auto theft.
ATPA is made up of a statewide network of law enforcement grantees: nearly 100 highly-skilled, specially-trained police officers, state troopers, detectives, prosecutors, paralegals, and support staff. These grantees target both the individual joyrider out to steal a car, as well as the complex, sophisticated international theft rings that smuggle high-end vehicles and cargo overseas.
The Authority was created by the General Assembly in 1994, and since inception has contributed to a 77% decrease in the rate of motor vehicle theft in Pennsylvania, compared to a national decrease of 50%. View our latest achievements, cases of note, and annual statistics.
Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pa., ATPA is guided by a statewide board of directors and employs an executive director and grants analyst.
For every dollar assessed to the insurance industry since inception, there is a $7 return on that investment.
Steven Wheeler, Executive Director
Steven Wheeler became the Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority’s executive director in April of 2014. For more than three decades, Wheeler has held a number of positions in local, regional, and statewide law enforcement. He began as an officer with the Freeland Borough Police Department in Luzerne County and went on to join the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General as a narcotics agent. He then held a variety of investigative, management, and executive positions with the Attorney General’s Office before retiring in 2013 as Chief of Criminal Investigations. In that capacity, he led nearly 300 agents in the criminal law division investigating a variety of crimes including narcotics trafficking, public corruption, health care fraud, insurance fraud, environmental crimes, and other offenses. Wheeler then served as Chief of Police in Middletown Borough, Dauphin County before joining ATPA.
Wheeler is a graduate of Moravian College and holds a Master of Public Administration degree (with distinction) from Gannon University. He has served as adjunct faculty at Alvernia University and has extensive experience as a law enforcement trainer and instructor. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, the Dauphin County Chiefs Association, and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.
Alissa Temperine, Grants Analyst
Alissa joined the Authority in May of 2014. Prior to that, she was a grants officer for Harrisburg Community College where she identified funding sources and coordinated efforts for the college to pursue grant and sponsorship opportunities. For seven years, Alissa was a grants administrator for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission where she managed $13 million in state and federal grant funding for conservation efforts led by the agency and its partners. Early in her career, she worked as a casualty claims representative for Progressive Insurance in Harrisburg. Alissa graduated from Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Board of Directors
Ronald W. Kosh, Chairperson
Director, AAA Mid-Atlantic, Southeast Pennsylvania
Celeste C. Dodson, Secretary
Claims Manager – SIU, State Farm Insurance
Frank J. Noonan
Retired PA State Police Commissioner
Chief Deputy Attorney General – Insurance Fraud Section, Office of Attorney General
Frank E. Pawlowski
Retired PA State Police Commissioner
ATPA 2017 / 2018 Grantees
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Contact The Authority
Request a speaker? Request training? Questions about our grant process?