Pennsylvania - ATPA

Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority

The legislation to create the PA Auto Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) was passed in December 1994, becoming effective in 1995.  The intent of the legislation was to establish, coordinate and fund activities in this Commonwealth to prevent, combat and reduce automobile theft, to improve and support automobile theft law enforcement and administration and to improve and support automobile theft prosecution.  The legislation created t organization as a separate agency outside of the state government to function independently.  There was a fund established at the Treasury Department for the ATPA, and all monies deposited into the fund are not considered general revenue of the State and can only be used to effectuate the purposes of the legislation.  An assessment of $4,000,000 upon the insurance companies writing auto business in PA was collected and deposited into the fund at Treasury.  There was a board of directors established with 7 people - the Attorney General (or designee), 3 insurance company representatives, and 4 at-large members.  The ATPA currently funds law enforcement agencies and task forces statewide to investigate and prosecute auto theft crime, as well as an extensive public education campaign to prevent auto theft. The ATPA has also created an extensive police officer training program to ensure patrol officers and investigators have the tools necessary to identify a stolen vehicle and investigate all types of auto theft crime (to include heavy equipment, motor cycles, ATVs, trucks, tractor trailers, etc.).  The effort in PA has been quite successful, with a 62% reduction in the theft rate statewide through 2009.