Michigan celebrated the 21st anniversary of the H.E.A.T. (Help Eliminate Auto Thefts) program with its annual award program this week.
According to the official release, since its inception in 1985, H.E.A.T., with its partners in law enforcement and the insurance industry, has helped lead to the recovery of over 3,500 vehicles and more than $43 million in stolen property, a $2 million increase from last year. Over the past 21 years, H.E.A.T. has awarded over $2.9 million in rewards and has helped in the arrest of nearly 3,000 auto theft criminals.
“H.E.A.T. is thriving and continues to be a vital resource for law enforcement, insurance companies and citizens throughout Michigan,” said Terri Miller, director of H.E.A.T. “Since our inception in 1985 we have collaborated to make a significant impact on statewide auto theft prevention. I would like to congratulate everyone on their dedication and look forward to our continued success.”
Michigan State Police (MSP) Director Col. Peter C. Munoz keynoted the anniversary breakfast event before an audience of nearly 200 law enforcement investigators, insurance representatives and government officials.
“Thanks to the confidential tips residents provided through H.E.A.T.’s toll-free hotline,” said Col. Munoz, “Michigan law enforcement officials were able to recover $43 million in stolen property, an impressive number. This success stems from the invaluable partnership between H.E.A.T. and the community in fighting auto-related crime.”
H.E.A.T. presented several awards, including the prestigious William V. Liddane Award and the H.E.A.T. Investigator of the Year Awards. The William V. Liddane Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the fight against auto theft in Michigan, while the H.E.A.T. Investigator of the Year Awards honor law enforcement for their tenacity and hard work in auto theft investigation, arrest, recovery and prevention.
This year’s recipients are: William V. Liddane Award, Lori Davis, Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigator with Allstate Insurance Company; HEAT Investigator of the Year Awards, Detective Chris Cole of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department Auto Theft Unit; Macomb Auto Theft Squad (MATS); Genesee Auto Investigative Network (GAIN); and, Detectives Esteban Moreno, Robert Zylstra and William Frederick of the Grand Rapids Combined Auto Theft Team
Anyone with information on auto theft, carjacking, chop shops, auto theft-related identity theft and auto insurance fraud in Michigan is encouraged to call the H.E.A.T. tip line, (800) 242-H.E.A.T., or log on to www.miheat.org to provide a confidential report. H.E.A.T. works with Michigan law enforcement agencies to follow up on tips.
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