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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ATPA Executive Director Named to IACP Committee

Mechanicsburg, PA (December 10, 2015) Steven Wheeler, executive director of the Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) will serve on the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Vehicle Crimes Committee. The committee studies vehicle crimes, gathers data on the most frequently stolen makes and models, and evaluates techniques used by law enforcement to solve and deter theft.

“There is a lot of information out there and we’re looking to continue to hone our best practices, as a global group combatting auto theft,” said Wheeler. “Criminals have increased their knowledge of technology and have achieved a greater level of sophistication. It’s important to make sure we continue to communicate with one another and stay one step ahead.”

More than 13,000 vehicles were stolen in Pennsylvania last year. While many cars are stolen as a crime of opportunity by joyriders, many more are stolen by professional, organized crime rings who also engage in violence, financial fraud, identity theft, and international trafficking. ATPA task forces in rural areas identify and track heavy equipment theft.

Wheeler will serve a three-year term on IACP’s Vehicle Crimes Committee.

For more information on how to protect yourself or what to do if your car is stolen, visit ATPA’s website or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s resource page for national statistics and information.

Created in 1994 by the state legislature, the Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority provides grants statewide to a number of law enforcement agencies and prosecutors with the goal of reducing auto theft. The Authority has demonstrated significant and cost-effective success in achieving that objective, especially when compared to nearby states. During the past decade, the rate of auto theft in Pennsylvania has declined 52%. For more information about auto theft in Pennsylvania, county-by-county statistics, and theft prevention tips, visit www.watchyourcar.org.

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