Amid an overall disparity in crime between the two cities, car thefts occurred approximately 46 times more often in downtown Dallas than in downtown Fort Worth during the month of April, according to data compiled by a local business group.
The Metroplex Civic and Business Association (MCBA) reviewed crime analytics for April from the two bookends of the DFW metroplex, which showed a much more severe car theft problem in Dallas than in Fort Worth.
In April alone, downtown Dallas experienced 91 motor vehicle thefts compared to only two in Fort Worth’s downtown area, according to data retrieved by the MCBA.
The Dallas Police Department told The Dallas Express in March, “Downtown areas tend to see a greater concentration of offenses due to the greater concentration of vehicles in those locations. With the multiple apartment buildings, parking garages, and entertainment districts, in most cases, it is a … crime of opportunity.”
“This impacts both commuters and those who live in the city, but as always, the Dallas Police Department is working diligently to … implement a plan to help combat this issue,” DPD added. “We constantly evaluate the plan and look at statistics and trends and make adjustments to help ensure the plan’s effectiveness.”
Overall, 406 criminal actions were reported in downtown Dallas, compared to 35 in Fort Worth. This included 135 larceny/theft offenses in Dallas, in contrast to seven in Fort Worth. A similar dichotomy can be seen in drug violations (41 to 1), vandalism (34 to 2), and burglary (14 to 5).
Residents and commuters in Dallas’ central district also were exposed to four times more assaults than those in downtown Fort Worth, with 62 occurring in the Big D compared to 14 in Cowtown.
Louis Darrouzet, the CEO of the MCBA, explained in a guest opinion piece in The Dallas Express, “The Metroplex Civic & Business Association is launching its new crime statistics comparison between downtown Dallas and Downtown Ft. Worth, and one of the reasons became clear why the ‘City of Dallas’ lost people last year when all the surrounding cities grew.
“Crime is significantly higher in Dallas than in Ft. Worth (about 9 times higher),” Darrouzet claimed. “The MCBA Business leaders know and realize this fact, which is why some of them have already moved their operations to the suburbs.”
Related to the crime epidemic in the city is Dallas’ severe problem with homelessness and vagrancy.
“In addition to Crime, we hear constant complaints about the Homelessness & Vagrancy problems from many of our member companies,” Darrouzet previously told The Dallas Express.
“A model like San Antonio’s Haven For Hope, would be extremely helpful in Dallas,” claimed Darrouzet. “The City of San Antonio required all non-profits and service providers that supported this segment of the community to operate out of a singular 22-acre location near downtown. They have 180+ services onsite.”
“This model has proven to be the most successful program in the Country in improving this segment of the community’s lives,” he noted. “However, to implement this solution, the City leaders had to take a strong stance against letting people loiter or camp in the streets.”
Darrouzet explained on Monday that the issue of crime in Dallas is not only worse than in Fort Worth but that the gap continues to widen.
“Downtown Dallas continues to far outpace [its sister] city with crime. While I knew it was worse, I am still shocked at how bad it has gotten. There were 91 vehicle thefts in Downtown Dallas. That’s 3 cars stolen every day, all month long. This is a trend that must improve if we want to position Dallas to be a safe place to conduct business. Additionally, the city is committed to building a $1.2 Billion convention center, which won’t be able to attract the large trade shows if the city is not safe.”
Residents in Dallas feel that crime is one of the most pressing issues confronting the city, with 41% of respondents in a recent poll conducted by The Dallas Express listing “excessive crime” as one of the top three problems driving people away from the city.
While violent crime is down slightly from the highs seen last year, murder and nonnegligent manslaughter are up year to date, with 95 homicides occurring in the city as of May 2, compared to 78 during the same period in 2022, according to figures from the City of Dallas Open Data crime analytics dashboard.