Vehicle Crimes, Vagrancy, Assault Corrode Downtown Dallas

Car theft | Image by fongbeerredhot

Criminal activity in Downtown Dallas is up by 6% year over year amid the city’s ongoing homelessness and vagrancy crisis.

According to the City of Dallas crime analytics dashboard, the number of reported criminal offenses logged in the Dallas Police Department’s Sector 130 — an area covering Victory Park and the Downtown Historic District — stands at 4,187 as of November 26. Last year, there were 3,951 offenses recorded during the same period.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, DPD has been operating at a deficit of roughly 800 officers. A prior City analysis estimates some 4,000 officers are needed in Dallas to properly maintain public safety, about three officers for every 1,000 residents. The department currently employs fewer than 3,200.

Sector 130 falls within the city council districts of both Council Members Jesse Moreno (District 2) and Paul Ridley (District 14).

The area has been ground zero for motor vehicle thefts in recent years, racking up 861 incidents so far this year, marking a 39.3% upsurge over the same period in 2022. Car burglaries also saw a significant year-over-year spike, jumping from 870 incidents to 928.

Downtown Dallas has also been grappling with widespread homelessness and vagrancy.

“[Vagrants] are individuals that end up staying on the street longer, the ones that need addiction support and mental health treatment, the ones stealing to eat. They’re assaulting people to get money. It creates a dynamic where they’re kind of in a fight or flight situation; they’re trying to survive,” Metroplex Civic & Business Association CEO Louis Darrouzet previously told The Dallas Express.

More than 80% of respondents to a poll conducted by The Dallas Express registered their concern with the amount of homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling going on in Dallas. Such polling also suggests significant support for the “one-stop-shop” model employed by San Antonio’s Haven for Hope, which has been credited with reducing homelessness in the city by 77%.

In addition to auto thefts and burglaries, simple assaults are also up in Sector 130, with officials recording 548 incidents this year, marking an increase of 16.8%. There has also been a steep jump in cases of intimidation, which are classified as assault offenses. This time last year, there were only 104 such incidents on the books. Police have logged 135 incidents this year, a growth of 29.8%.

Downtown Dallas has been logging significantly more criminal activity than Fort Worth’s downtown area, which is reportedly patrolled by a special neighborhood police unit that works in coordination with private security guards.

A request for comment pertaining to the public safety situation in Downtown Dallas was sent to the offices of Council Members Moreno and Ridley, but no response was received by press time.

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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