About Us

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 73% decrease in the rate of motor vehicle theft in Pennsylvania, compared to a national decrease of 47%. 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 $6 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.

Board of Directors

  • Ronald W. Kosh, Chairperson
  • Celeste C. Dodson, Secretary

    Regional Manager – SIU, State Farm Insurance

  • Frank J. Noonan

    Retired PA State Police Commissioner

  • Frank E. Pawlowski

    Retired PA State Police Commissioner

  • Robert LaBar

    Chief Deputy Attorney General, Insurance Fraud Section, Office of Attorney General

Employment Opportunities

Sorry, we are currently not hiring. Check back soon for available employment opportunities.

Contact The Authority

Request a speaker? Request training? Questions about our grant process?



Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority

5 Kacey Court, Suite 201 Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
1-888-777-ATPA  |  Email Us

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