Two Watsonville Officers Honored with the “10851 Award Pin”


Two Watsonville Police officers were recently recognized for their ongoing efforts in reducing auto theft. Each officer was honored with the “10851 Award Pin” by the California Highway Patrol for their commitment in arresting car thieves and recovering stolen vehicles. 

Auto theft in the City of Watsonville has been a continuing challenge for law enforcement officers. On average, the Watsonville Police Department receives four stolen vehicle reports a week. Due to the efforts of our Santa Cruz County Auto Theft Reduction team, our patrol officers and police service specialists we have been successful in recovering about 95% of the vehicles that were reported stolen.

The 10851 Award Pin Program was named after the section of the California Vehicle Code that deals with auto theft. The 10851 Awards were created in 1979, in collaboration with the California Highway Patrol and AAA insurance. The award pins are presented to peace officers throughout California who have been instrumental in recovering stolen vehicles and apprehending car thieves. Each year, CHP and AAA recognize those officers who meet the stringent requirements.

On October 22, 2013, California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Scott Howland, Coastal Division, presented Watsonville Police Officer Bryan Fuentez and Bryan Rodriguez their 10851 Award.  To qualify for this prestigious award, an officer must either:

1. Make 6 “rolling stolen” arrests (the car thieves were inside the stolen vehicle during the stop),
2. Recover 12 unoccupied stolen vehicles, including 3 “rolling stolen”, or
3. Help identify a theft ring, also known as a “chop shop” and recover at least 10 stolen vehicles.

The Watsonville Police Department would also like to remind everyone that some auto thefts are very preventable.  We would like to advise people not to leave their vehicles running while unattended.  A running unattended vehicle is a crime of opportunity for that person who is looking to steal a car quickly.  If you own a vehicle that has a higher likelihood of being stolen we would recommend a steering wheel locking device.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 6th, 2013 at 10:37 am and is filed under City of Watsonville, General Information, Homepage News, Police Department . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.