Deputy Evan McCormick of the Fallbrook Sheriff’s substation was one of a dozen deputies from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department to be honored for his work in recovering stolen vehicles in San Diego County last year.
The 12 deputies collectively arrested 71 people and recovered 188 stolen cars worth more than $1.5 million in 2016. McCormick had nine stolen vehicle recoveries – three of which resulted in arrests.
“Nine might not sound like a lot, but it is a lot for a smaller community like Fallbrook,” said Sgt. Patrick Yates. “That he’s out there doing the hunting is a good thing for us and for the community of Fallbrook because auto thieves often commit other crimes too. It’s just one of the many crimes they commit, so arresting them and recovering stolen vehicles is a good way of fighting crime in many areas rather than just auto theft.”
The Auto Theft Advisory Committee (a partnership between law enforcement, insurance and car-related companies) presents the Auto Theft Recovery Awards and McCormick earned the honor for the second consecutive year. In 2015, McCormick led his colleagues at the North Coastal Station in Encinitas in stolen vehicle recoveries.
“It’s cool,” said McCormick of receiving the award in back-to-back years. “I was surprised both times.”
McCormick, who has worked out of the Fallbrook substation for “a little more than a year,” said simply being diligent leads him to finding the vehicles.
“It’s just driving around and running license plates mostly,” said McCormick, who has been with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for more than nine years. “You drive around and look for a car that looks like it’s out of place. It’s dirty or cobwebbed and just doesn’t belong. Run plates all night long and you’ll find cars.”
The Auto Theft Advisory Committee saluted its honorees at its 27th annual awards ceremony, which was held March 29 at The Prado at Balboa Park restaurant in San Diego.
Thirty-three officers from almost every law enforcement agency in San Diego County combined to recover 611 vehicles (valued at approximately $5,508,927) and arrest 143 suspects in 2016. Each officer was awarded a plaque from the Auto Theft Advisory Committee.