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Crime Boss: District 3’s Theft Problem

Crime, Crime Boss, Featured

Casey Thomas II | Image by Casey Thomas

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On average, approximately one in every 1,000 residents of the City of Dallas District 3 reported Larceny or Theft Offenses in February of 2022. Citywide, that equates to one in every 650 people. District 3 is led by Councilmember Casey Thomas II. Thomas is in his fourth term in office; his current term ends in 2023. According to data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) database, Dallas has more crime per capita than hotspots like Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York. To raise awareness of the crime issue in our city, The Dallas Express awards the “Crime Boss of the Month” title to the Dallas City Council member whose district shows the biggest percentage increase (or smallest decline) in crime year-to-year, on a monthly basis. This month’s Crime Boss title belongs to Councilman Thomas for District 3’s 24% spike in crimes from February 2021 to February 2022, the greatest of any increases we’ve seen in a Crime Boss installment thus far. Larceny/ Theft Offenses saw a double-digit upsurge in cases, increasing a whopping 22%, from 83 reported instances in February 2021 to 101 in 2022. Larceny and theft offenses are defined as follows by the UCR: “The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another. Examples are thefts of bicycles, motor vehicle parts and accessories, shoplifting, pocket-picking, or the stealing of any property or article that is not taken by force and violence or by fraud. Attempted larcenies are included. Embezzlement, confidence games, forgery, check fraud, etc., are excluded.” Stolen motor vehicle parts and accessories fall under the UCR’s definition of Larceny/Theft Offenses. Currently, in Dallas and the U.S. as a whole, reports of catalytic converter thefts — pilfered by thieves in search of precious metals — have seen sharp increases over the past two years. Data from the DPD has shown that the rate of catalytic converter theft was up by over 300% in 2021 compared to 2020. The number of reports has continued to grow thus far in 2022, which could account for part of the rise in Larceny/Theft Offenses. Auto Theft, a related but separate category of crime, has also continuously plagued the City of Dallas. District 3 also experienced the biggest increase in vehicle thefts between February 2021 and February 2022. District 3 saw several incidents of larceny and theft this past February. To enumerate a few: On February 1, a convenience store on the 3900 Block of Red Bird Lane called DPD at 7:20 p.m. to report a Theft of Property greater than $750 but less than $2,500 by an employee. There is no further information about this case on the Dallas Police Public Database. On February 6, Dallas Police responded to a call reporting a Theft from a Person at 9 p.m. at a home on the 6900 block of Mountain Cedar Lane. According to the Dallas Police Public Database, there are no suspects in this case as of March 18. On February 28, DPD responded to a Theft of Cattle/Horse/Exotic Livestock less than $150,000 at a farm at 8 p.m. in the 6500 Block of Pastor Bailey Drive. According to the Dallas Police Public Database, there are no suspects in this crime as of March 18. Just before these reports, in early January of 2022, Councilman Thomas gave his State Of The District 3 Address, in which he said one of his main focuses was to lower crime rates, according to Texas Metro News. To reach this goal, Thomas said he would work with the Citizens Safety Advisory Committee. “We’re not just going to complain about the issues, we are going to come together as a neighborhood and have monthly meetings with (Dallas Police) Chief Eddie Garcia,” Thomas reportedly said. The Citizens Safety Advisory Committee is allegedly comprised of twenty-five members reportedly nominated by the City Manager and appointed by the City Council. The Dallas Express called the Dallas City Manager’s office to find out more about the committee and ask for comment, but the manager’s office had no further information or point of contact. The Dallas Express again reached out to Thomas for comment on the District 3 crime increases and to inquire about the collaboration with the Citizens Safety Advisory Committee, but as of press time, Thomas had not responded.

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