Downtown Area Car Thefts Drive Dallas Crime Without 4K Cops

car thefts
Thief stealing a car | Image by releon8211/Shutterstock

Downtown motor vehicle thefts in Dallas are continuing to drive overall crime in the city, with more than 18,000 on the books so far this year citywide.

According to the City of Dallas crime analytics dashboard, the Dallas Police Department received some 18,211 reports about stolen vehicles as of December 19, marking a 40.4% increase over the number of auto thefts recorded during the same period in 2022.

DPD has been hamstrung by a longstanding officer shortage, with only around 3,000 officers on duty. A City analysis advises roughly 4,000 are needed to properly maintain public safety and get police response times to reasonable levels.

“Staffing has always been an issue, there’s no question about it,” Garcia previously said, according to CBS News Texas. “The city of Dallas is the ninth largest city in the country, and I have about 12 individuals assigned to auto theft.”

The two Dallas City Council districts with the most auto thefts (Districts 2 and 14) encompass Downtown Dallas. District 14, which is represented by Council Member Paul Ridley, clocked the most reports of the crime with 2,022. Council Member Jesse Moreno’s District 2 logged 1,955 incidents.

Not far behind District 2 is Council Member Omar Narvaez’s District 6, with 1,939 offenses. While District 6 comprises Dallas’ northwestern flank, its boundary ends right alongside the city center. District 7, represented by Council Member Adam Bazaldua, logged the fourth-most auto thefts. The district is also situated near Downtown Dallas but from the southeast.

The four council members were not immediately available for comment.

Downtown Dallas has been vulnerable to a wide variety of criminal offenses, especially auto theft. A study comparing Dallas’ city center to Fort Worth’s downtown area, which is patrolled by a dedicated police unit working alongside private security guards, discovered that over the course of one month, some 91 motor vehicle thefts occurred in the former compared to only two in the latter.

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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