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Rise in Theft Makes Atkins Crime Boss Runner-Up

Dallas District 8 Council Member Tennell Atkins | Image by City of Dallas
Dallas District 8 Council Member Tennell Atkins | Image by City of Dallas

Council Member Tennell Atkins is runner-up to this month’s Crime Boss title after his district saw a drop in homicides but a rise in theft.

Although Jaime Resendez was named The Dallas Express‘ May Crime Boss due to a nearly 8% uptick year over year in District 5’s Crime Score in April, Atkins’ council district has been plagued by similar rises in property crime. As a result, District 8’s Crime Score was just 1.71% lower this April compared to April 2023.

Motor vehicle theft, which has been a significant issue in Dallas since reaching record-breaking heights in 2023, was 3.8% higher in District 8 this April than the April before. Year to date as of May 19, 4.7% more auto thefts have been reported than during the same period last year, according to data from the City’s crime analytics dashboard.

There have also been increases in car break-ins, burglaries, and shoplifting — jumping 42.2%, 28%, and 7.1% in April, respectively. Meanwhile, robberies remained stagnant, with no change between April 2023 and April 2024.

Thieves mostly targeted retail stores and businesses, such as an incident on April 16 in the 1900 block of South Belt Line Road where a suspect drove their vehicle into a cage holding propane tanks and stole 19 of them. Yet District 8 also saw some residences being victimized in April, with one resident reporting the theft of copper wire and two others reporting stolen packages, one of which was a laptop.

Drug and assault offenses have also been persistent issues in Atkins’ council district, with drug-related violations clocking a 23.8% uptick year over year despite taking a slight dip in April and simple assaults rising by 4.9% in April and 7.1% so far this year.

Although fewer aggravated assaults occurred in April 2024 compared to April 2023, 41 versus 65, this still leaves at least one person suffering a violent attack each day. So far this year, over 70% of the 230 victims of aggravated assault have been black, and just shy of 48% have been women, per City data.

While fewer murders occurred in District 8 in April, just one compared to five in April 2023, and over the course of the year, it is notable that three of the 13 criminal homicides logged as of May 19 were categorized by Dallas police as “family violence crimes.”

Although the City has touted declining violent crime in Dallas, these reductions haven’t been significant across the board due to a longstanding police officer shortage within the Dallas Police Department. DPD fields around 3,000 sworn-in officers whereas a City report previously recommended a force closer to 4,000.

DPD is also making use of considerably fewer taxpayer dollars than other high-crime jurisdictions across the country, with Dallas City Council allocating the department just $654 million this fiscal year.

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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