Dallas Auto Thefts Are on the Up-and-Up Downtown

auto thefts
Smashed car window | Image by P A Thompson/Getty Images

Motor vehicle thefts in Dallas have been on the rise this year, putting the city on track to break the record-high number of such incidents clocked in 2023.

According to the City of Dallas crime analytics dashboard, there have been 3,480 auto thefts committed within Dallas proper as of March 19, marking a 16.5% increase over the 2,987 reports logged during the same period last year.

Council Member Paul Ridley’s District 14 saw the most auto thefts, with 401 offenses recorded, followed by Council Member Omar Narvaez’s District 6 at 397 and Council Member Jesse Moreno at 354.

A look at the dashboard’s heat map indicates that a lot of auto thefts are occurring in and around Downtown Dallas, which is represented about evenly by Moreno and Ridley. District 6 borders the Central Business District from the west.

When isolating for Dallas Police Department’s Sector 130, which comprises the Central Business District and Victory Park, auto thefts are up by 43%. Sector 130 clocked the most incidents out of all the individual sectors at 213.

The council district with the fewest motor vehicle thefts logged this year is Council Member Cara Mendelsohn’s District 12 in Far North Dallas.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the Metroplex Civic & Business Association’s monthly crime comparison study looking at Downtown Dallas and Fort Worth’s city center found there were 61 times more auto thefts in the former than in the latter.

DPD has been laboring under a severe staffing shortage, with only around 3,000 officers currently in the field. A City report previously advised that roughly 4,000 officers were necessary to properly maintain public safety and reduce police response times.

Moreover, the department was budgeted only $654 million this fiscal year, far less than what other high-crime jurisdictions, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago, allocated for their police departments.

The Dallas Express, The People’s Paper, believes that important information about the city, such as crime rates and trends, should be easily accessible to you. Dallas has more crime per capita than hotspots like Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York, according to data from the FBI’s UCR database.

How did your area stack up on crime? Check out our interactive Crime Map to compare all Dallas City Council Districts. Curious how we got our numbers? Check out our methodology page here.

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