IAATI Component Parts Markings Award

Nominations Deadline: May 01, 2020

All nominations should be sent to: Executive Director PO Box 223, Clinton, NY 13323-0223 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The IAATI Component Parts Markings Award is intended to honor any person or unit possessing the qualifications of an active member of IAATI, although membership is not a prerequisite, who has in some way distinguished themselves in vehicle theft investigations where OEM or aftermarket identification technology/solutions have played a significant part in the success of the investigation.  The identification solution may include, but is not limited to:
VINs labels/stamps, OEM ID marks, OEM electronic parts marking, etching or branding solutions, electronic parts marking RF tags, microdots, DNA fluids, and UV light markings, etc

Award Recipients

Name or Group
StanCATT - Stanislaus County (CA) Auto Theft Task Force

This year the award was awarded to Stanislaus County Auto Theft Taskforce (STANCATT) for their case called: “Attack of the Clones. “


The Recoveri Tag What’s Yours Component Parts Marking Award was presented by IAATI Director Reg Phillips (Canada) and President J.D. Hough (AZ) to the Stanislaus County Auto Theft Taskforce (STANCATT) August 6, 2018, at the 2018 International Association of Auto Theft Investigators International Training Conference in Pittsburgh, PA


When this auto task force “looked a little deeper”, they demonstrated very effectively how components parks marking are more than just a way to ID a vehicle! By connecting the dots they were able to discover and shut down a criminal enterprise beyond just a stolen vehicle.

SYNOPSIS for “Attack of the Clones”

On August 4, 2017, Central Division Stanislaus County Auto Theft Task Force (STANCATT) initiated a VIN switch investigation, but what started out as an investigation of a possible cloned vehicle led to much more.

  • The recovery of four high-end vehicles valued at over ¼ million dollars
  • The seizure of four pistols
  • The seizure of 277 pounds of methamphetamine - with a street value over a million dollars
  • The claim to the second largest Methamphetamine bust in Stanislaus County history
  • And all while checking the ID of a vehicle as an Automotive Theft Taskforce

Recoveri, Tag What’s Yours? is very honored to provide this award to the STANCATT team and would like to congratulate:

  • Investigator John French 
  • Sgt Lloyd Mackinnon
  • Sgt Mayolo Banuelos
  • Investigator Matt McCain
  • Investigator Kyle Briggs
  • Investigator Nolan Thomason
  • Investigator Erika Ruano
  • Investigator Timothy Fautt
  • Detective Dave Wallace

Recoveri, Tag What’s Yours? also wants to encourage others to engage in the world of components parts marking. While in this case it was an OEM VIN label used, there are many labels that can be utilized during an investigation.

OEM - VINs, ID marks, OEM electronic parts marking

Aftermarket - Etching or Branding Solutions, Electronic Parts Marking RF Tags, Microdots, DNA Fluids, UV Light Markings

At your next IAATI training opportunity learn more about these labels and you too can look deeper.

Steven Warriner SCBPO Trout River Port of Entry, NY

This award is intended to honor any person or unit possessing the qualifications of an active member of IAATI, although membership is not a perquisite, who has in some way distinguished themselves in vehicle theft investigations where VIN labels or micro-dot technology played a significant part of the success of the investigation. 

This year’s winner was United States Customs and Border Protection Sgt. Steve Warriner. Sgt. Warriner is assigned to the Port of Entry in Trout River New York bordering the Canadian Providence of Quebec.

In February 2014, Sgt. Warriner was investigating the contents of a shipping container being shipped by a Numbered Company in Quebec to the Middle East. The container contents which were labeled auto parts appeared to contain more than what was listed on the bill of lading.

A check of the container proved that he was correct. The contained did contain assorted auto parts, but also included a front clip from a BMW (VIN removed) and several “A” Pillars with the Federal Safety Certification Label scratched off. The “A” Pillars were cut and were out from the cars and were worthless (only for junk).

The investigation pointed to the numbered company in Canada and it appeared the owner of the shipping company was a known suspect of vehicle theft. A few weeks later, two more containers were sent out by this company (via rail) destined for the UAE. Sgt. Warriner immediately set up a VACIS (Vehicle And Cargo Inspection System) (X-Ray Imaging) exam of the containers, which revealed that there were at least 6 – 7 vehicles in the containers which were again labeled as auto parts with a combined listed value of $ 67,000.00. The containers were held, the “meat and potatoes” of the investigation. Sgt. Warriner, along with members from other various law enforcement agencies off-loaded all the contents of the containers: a multitude of; fenders, doors, hoods, quarter panels, glass, sunroofs, airbags, headlight assemblies, and other miscellaneous parts).

An examination of all the parts found that several anti-theft labels had been removed in an attempt to hide the identity of the parts. The parts were all photographed and categorized. 7 front clips in the containers all had the VINs removed, in an attempt to hide their identity. Anti-theft glass etching was found on several parts, which lead to the true identity of the vehicles. After all was said and done, and the parts were identified as stolen, 7 vehicles were recovered, along with several parts from 6 other stolen vehicles – all were stolen from the Greater Montreal, Quebec area. Total combined amount was over $ 300,000.00. But the case did not end there. 6months later, the bad guys were at it again, and attempted to ship (via rail) another container which was also found by Sgt. Warriner to contain another 4 stolen vehicles.

The same process was conducted, parts were off loaded, photographed and categorized. Vehicles again stolen from the Greater Montreal Quebec area, with a combined total of over $ 175,000.00 were recovered.

Congratulations to Sgt. Warriner on a job well done.

Arizona Auto Theft Task Force

left to right: Jim Holmes, Steve Simmers, Tucson Police Auto Theft Unit/Taskforce, Shane Sholl, Tucson Police Auto Theft Unit/Taskforce and Rick Sandt, Avery Dennison