FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Scott A. Wertz Award Recipients Honored for Expertise, Teamwork and Dedication
November 1, 2022 – The Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA)
announced the Scott A. Wertz Award winners for 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 at its first
in-person grantee training conference since the pandemic shut-down in 2020.
The award is the only honor the ATPA bestows. Officer Wertz was a police officer with
the Reading City Police Department assigned to the Pennsylvania State Police Central
Auto Theft Task Force. He was killed in the line of duty in 2006 while investigating an
auto theft case in Reading.
The award honors Wertz’s bravery, expertise, teamwork, and dedication to the shared
commitment among law enforcement officers to fight vehicle crime. Award candidates
are selected based upon extraordinary service in prevention or investigation that goes
above and beyond their routine duties.
The winners include:
• 2019 Scott A. Wertz Award to Task Force Officer William Minett from the
Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office and member of the Western Auto
Theft Task Force of the Pennsylvania State Police at the time he was nominated
for the award
• 2020 Scott A. Wertz Award to Trooper Jason Morgan of the Western Auto Theft
Task Force of the Pennsylvania State Police
• 2021 Scott A. Wertz Award to Officer Scott Monroe of the Cranberry Township
Police Department assigned to the Western Auto Theft Task Force of the
Pennsylvania State Police
• 2022 Scott A. Wertz Award to Trooper Kyle Hnat of the Eastern Auto Theft Task
Force of the Pennsylvania State Police
Task Force Officer Minett and the Western Auto Theft Task Force conducted a nine-
month investigation in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United
States Attorney’s Office (Western District of Pennsylvania), Pennsylvania State Police
Central and Eastern Auto Theft Task Forces, and several local and state law
enforcement agencies on the eastern seaboard.
During the course of the investigation, the primary suspect and several co-conspirators
were alleged to be stealing heavy equipment, trailers and off-road vehicles for the
purpose of reselling them through their corrupt organization. Investigators identified the
criminal enterprise stole these items from 18 dealerships in Pennsylvania, Maryland,
Virginia and New Jersey over the course of three years. The investigators in this case
used both modern technology as well as grinding and monotonous “old fashioned”
police work to solve this case. TFO Minett was a leader in the collaboration between law
enforcement agencies and exhibited exceptional teamwork and attention to detail.
Trooper Jason Morgan was honored with the award for embodying selflessness as an
investigator and consistently leading others as the ultimate team player. He is known to
work routinely well past his shift and on the weekends for his investigations or to assist
others in theirs. He continues to expand his knowledge in auto theft and attempts to use
the latest technology to bring criminals to justice. Trooper Morgan is often asked to
assist on large scale investigations by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies
around the country due to his expertise and well-known dedication.
Officer Scott Monroe led a multi-agency, complex investigation involving the theft and
related crimes associated with high-end, new, and used vehicles throughout
Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. A criminal organization originating in
Maryland targeted several dealerships across Pennsylvania in the late-night, early
morning hours to steal several high-end vehicles from multiple dealerships. This
investigation resulted in the recovery and damage value of over $1,000,000 being
successfully brought to prosecution. Through the diligent work of all involved, the
vehicles were recovered in a matter of weeks, with little to no damage. Monroe has long
embodied the values of the Scott A. Wertz Award being known to his peers as tireless,
innovative, and selfless in his law enforcement pursuits.
Trooper Kyle Hnat has been a member of the Pennsylvania State Police for 20 years
and a member of the Eastern Auto Theft Unit for approximately seven years. Over his
career, he conducted investigations into numerous types of vehicle thefts including
automobiles, heavy equipment, recreational vehicles, ATVs, UTVs, motorcycles, high
end tractors and riding mowers. His investigations also involved lien washed vehicles
and retagged vehicles. Trooper Hnat is engaged in numerous large and multi-state
vehicle theft investigations. For him, no investigation is too large or small, his dogged
pursuit and hard work have earned the respect of his peers.
The ATPA congratulates all of these men for embodying the spirit of the Scott A. Wertz
Created in 1994 by the state General Assembly, the Pennsylvania Auto Theft
Prevention Authority provides grants statewide to law enforcement agencies (including
the Philadelphia Police Major Crimes Auto Squad and Philadelphia District Attorney’s
Office) with the goal of reducing auto theft. Since inception, vehicle theft rates in
Pennsylvania have decreased 73 percent, compared to a national decrease of only 47
percent. For more information visit www.watchyourcar.org.
Contact: Steven Wheeler, Executive Director
Pa. Auto Theft Prevention Authority