We met at Carr’s, and we learned about cars, and the people who steal them. Plus, how not to be a car theft victim.
Notes from the July 13 meeting of
The Rotary Club of Clover Park
President Becky Newton is still pretty new in the job, but managed to start the meeting on time.  And she thanked greeters Tom Faubion (live) and Sue Potter (Zoom).  She also thanked meeting setupmeisters Mike Killen and David Cotant.  She turned then to Jeannie Hill, who kicked us off with some inspirational thoughts, this time from the Persian poet Hafiz: 
1. And still, after all this time, the sun never says to the earth,  "You owe me". Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky. 
2. This sky, where we live, is no place to lose your wings. So love, love, love. 
3. I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being. 
Bob Lawrence led us in the flag salute.  Tom McClellan let us in reciting the Four Way Test.  There was no sunshine to report.  And we welcomed one guest, Detective Sergeant Jeff Carroll, who was our guest speaker on this day.
Future Programs
July 20     Dr. James Polo, MD, Mental Health Post-Covid
July 27     Reid Vance, Home Title Theft
Aug 3       Peter Cook, HMS Titanic
Joyce Oubré noted that we have raised $8700 so far for the golf tournament.  We need all Rotarians to find more golfers and sponsors.  Raffle prizes are also welcome.  Contact Jim Hairston for any questions about all of the above.
Georgene Mellom shared a Foundation Minute:
This initiative by the Board of Trustees of The Rotary Foundation encourages “every Rotarian, every year” to:
1. Participate in a Foundation program that is making a difference in the world
2. Contribute to the Foundation’s Annual Fund at a sustainable amount
The Rotary Foundation even has banners for clubs where every member contributes at least US$25 to the Annual Fund with a US$100 per capita during the Rotary year.
Today nearly 1/3 of Rotarians participate in this initiative. In 2019/20 The Rotary Foundation was able to award over 1,300 global grants for large scale sustainable projects due to the generosity of these Rotarians. Think about what Rotary could accomplish in the world if all of our 1.2 million worldwide members each gave at least US$25 to our Foundation’s Annual Fund.
Club Secretary Tom McClellan reminded everyone to get their new Rotary year dues paid.  You can pay $150 by check, or $155 by credit card via the web site. 
Bob Lawrence made a pitch for the Lakewood Community Foundation, which is an organization set up years ago by our club and the Lakewood Rotary Club.  Each of the two clubs contributes 3 members to the board, plus there are 3 at large members from the community.  Our club’s representatives are Bob Lawrence, Sydna Koontz, and Hallie McCurdy.  The endowment is now up to $1.3 million, and the investment proceeds are used to fund local projects and groups within Lakewood.  They have so far given away $250,000.
Judi Maier noted that our club made a $500 contribution to our own endowment at the Clover Park Technical College’s foundation.  Years ago, our club started our own endowment there to fund student scholarships, a bit of knowledge that had escaped being passed to our current club leadership.  This year’s gift will grow that endowment.
President Becky shared some of our club’s goals for this new Rotary year, including growing our club from the current 36 members up to 42.  She wants to have a quarterly fellowship meeting, in lieu of a program speaker, so that we can all get to know each other better.  And she wants to reestablish a social events committee.  There are more goals on the list, that she detailing at future meetings.
Fun And Fines
Becky Newton celebrated taking a family vacation road trip, to visit her daughter in Oregon, where they got to enjoy a rodeo and a July 4 fireworks show.  They then went on to Irvine, CA to see grandkids.  She offered up $50.
Tom McClellan had his own trip to the southern outpost in Manhattan Beach, CA, and cited the now newly-established precedent of $50 for a California trip. 
Past President Teresa Nye was proud that her older son had uprooted from Washington State and drove to Missouri, finding a job with CMMG, a firearm manufacturer.  That was worth $20.
Ed Trobaugh offered up his thanks to the West Pierce Fire and Rescue Department for coming out to his house in order to check his smoke and CO2 alarms.  Dave Cotant paid $5 to echo that recommendation of their free service to do such checks.
Ed closed by noting that we are now in a new Rotary year, and so all previous “Fraleys” (an indulgence exempting the payer from fines for the whole year) are now expired.  Georgene Mellom has already paid for her new Fraley.
This Week’s Program
Sergeant Jeff Carroll is the supervisor of the Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force (PSATT).  He comes from the Lakewood P.D. and joins police detectives contributed from other law enforcement agencies including WA State Patrol, Tacoma PD, Pierce Co. Sheriff, Bonney Lake PD, and Federal Way PD.  Jeff was one of the founding members of the Lakewood P.D. back in 2004.
The PSATT was founded in 2017, and is State-funded via traffic ticket revenue.  It features 2 supervisors and 9 detectives.
There are 25-30 auto thefts per day in Pierce County.  Why do they get stolen?  Several reasons:
  • Transportation
  • Conduct other crimes
  • Parts
  • Joy rides
  • Fund addictions
  • Fraud
Legislative changes have contributed to a rise of auto thefts, which are up 86% in Pierce County, and 32% in King County.  Jail booking restrictions mean that jailers will not accept property crimes because of Covid restrictions.  And police cannot engage in pursuits of auto thefts under the new State laws.  The thieves know this. 
Since the founding of the PSATT in 2017:
  • 2,003 cars recovered
  • $29.6 million recovered
  • 58 firearms seized
  • 649 arrests
  • 1266 charges filed
Tips for preventing thefts:
  • Lock your vehicle
  • Don’t leave the key or the fob inside the car
  • Remove or hide valuables
  • Don’t leave a vehicle running unattended
  • Use anti-theft devices, such as ignition and/or fuel cutoffs
  • Park in well-lit areas
When buying a used car, be suspicious of the following:
  • Price is too good to be true
  • Seller claims he lost the title
  • Check to make sure the VIN is present and intact
  • Do a free VIN check at www.nicb.org/vincheck
  • Check that the seller’s name matches the paperwork
  • Check the seller’s ID card
Catalytic converter theft is falling a little bit because recycling them is now harder.  You can pay a little bit to put a metal shield over it, which makes a thief move on to an easier target.  Also get the VIN etched into it.  There are big organized crime groups engaged in this.
This Week’s Raffle:
With $405 in the pot, 21 cards left in the deck, Teresa Nye could not beat the odds to get the lone remaining ace.
And Finally…
If one had to make a bet, my money would be on the boat beating the house in the drag race.