Spikes in Shoplifting, Drug Crimes Determine New Crime Boss

District 8 Council Member Tennell Atkins
District 8 Council Member Tennell Atkins | Image by Tennell Atkins /Facebook

Council Member Tennell Atkins of District 8 has been named Crime Boss of the Month for the steep year-over-year increase in Crime Score logged by his district in October.

District 8 is situated in southern Dallas, comprising the city’s southernmost flank along I-20 between U.S. 67 and Lasater Road.

The district’s Crime Score jumped by 39.8% last month, significantly more than some of the other council districts that saw double-digit hikes. The council member with the second-highest Crime Score bump in October was Council Member Zarin Gracey (District 3), who was named Crime Boss in September, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. His Crime Score increased by 31.6% in October. Council Member Carolyn King Arnold (District 4) clocked the third-highest increase, logging a 27.2% bump.

According to the City of Dallas crime overview dashboard, Atkins’ district saw year-over-year increases across a number of different offense categories in October, ranging from motor vehicle thefts to weapon law violations.

Auto thefts spiked by 79.7%, jumping from 79 incidents last year to 142 in October 2023. Drug offenses spiked in dramatic fashion, increasing by 172.7% with 90 reports logged last month compared to 33 recorded last year.

Destruction of property and vandalism also increased, with the City clocking a 17.6% hike. There were 51 offenses reported last October. Some 60 are on the books for that month this year. Weapon law violations jumped by 78.6%, with 25 incidents recorded last month. There were only 14 logged in October 2023.

The biggest increase, however, was in shoplifting incidents, which skyrocketed by 633.3%. There were only three instances of shoplifting reported last October. Some 22 were logged last month by City officials.

Efforts to fight crime in Dallas have been impeded by the Dallas Police Department’s staffing shortage. DPD currently fields fewer than 3,200 officers despite a City analysis recommending that some 4,000 are needed to properly maintain public safety.

The shortage has been especially felt in Downtown Dallas, where significantly higher crime rates are logged compared to Fort Worth’s downtown area, which is reportedly patrolled by a special neighborhood police unit that works alongside private security guards.

An inquiry about the public safety situation in District 8 was sent to Council Member Atkins but he could not immediately be reached for comment.

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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