Shoplifting Ticks Up in Northern Dallas Amid Lack of 4K Cops

Person shoplifting in retail store.
Person shoplifting in retail store. | Image by Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Shoplifting continues to be a problem in the city of Dallas, with December 2023 seeing a significant uptick over December of the previous year.

According to the City of Dallas crime analytics dashboard, city officials clocked a 15.4% increase year over year last month, with 195 incidents logged compared to the 169 recorded in December 2022.

Council Member Gay Donnell Willis (District 13) saw the most instances of shoplifting last month at 38, followed by Council Member Paula Blackmon’s District 9 at 29 and Council Member Jaynie Schultz’s District 11 at 27. As previously reported by The Dallas Express, shoplifting has been a nagging issue in northern Dallas, where both District 11 and 13 are located.

While District 13 had the most incidents, city data indicates that the council district actually saw a year-over-year decline in shoplifting in December. However, that dip was more than made up for by the steep increases in Districts 9 and 11. Blackmon’s district logged an 81.3% increase, and shoplifting in Schultz’s district increased by 50%.

In all of 2023, there were 2,658 shoplifting incidents reported, marking an alarming 56.5% increase over the 1,698 logged the previous year. The spike in shoplifting followed the short-lived theft amnesty policy piloted by Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot. As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Creuzot’s initiative, which involved declining to prosecute theft cases valued at under $750, was met with significant pushback by Dallas County residents, prompting the district attorney to rescind the policy.

Creuzot’s theft amnesty policy led his opponent in the 2022 election to give him the moniker “‘Let-em-Go’ Creuzot.”

The nagging issue of shoplifting could also be the result of the Dallas Police Department’s ongoing staffing shortage. The department currently only fields around 3,000 officers when a City report advises that closer to 4,000 are necessary to properly maintain public safety and reduce police response times.

Black and Hispanic individuals typically endure the seeming consequences of Dallas’ police shortage, finding themselves overrepresented when it comes to ending up a victim of crimes like assault, human trafficking, and murder, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Budgeting only $654 million for DPD this year, City officials are spending much less taxpayer money on law enforcement than other high-crime jurisdictions, like New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The effects of the officer deficit have been apparent in Downtown Dallas, which regularly logs higher crime rates than Fort Worth’s city center. A dedicated police unit and private security guards patrol 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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