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DA Creuzot Defends Theft Policy Amidst Property Crime Increase

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Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot speaking during a press conference. | Image by Tom Fox, The Dallas Morning News

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Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot’s office usually buffers him from local press, but last month he gave a wide-ranging interview with The Washington Post, including comments on why he is not prosecuting some shoplifters.

The Washington Post’s longtime crime reporter, Tom Jackman, did not waste much time before asking the district attorney about his controversial decision not to prosecute some shoplifters.


Prior to DA Creuzot taking office, thefts less than $100 went to municipal court, bypassing the district attorney’s office. About three years ago, Creuzot decided to increase that limit from $100 to $750. With these changes, Dallas County DA Creuzot’s office no longer prosecutes individuals accused of stealing property valued at less than $750.

Jackman asked if not prosecuting such cases gives people the green light to walk into stores and leave with $749 worth of stolen goods.

“There were a lot of small businesses who felt like this gives people, you know, carte blanche to come into [their] store[s] and take stuff,” observed Jackman.

“Yes,” replied Creuzot.

“So, it’s been three years. How has it gone?” asked Jackman.

“Well, so we’re talking about food, diapers, formula, things like that. We’re not talking about people who are thieves, who are boosters, and what have you. So, first of all, it’s unlikely that you can get food over $100 if you’re in a small store. It just doesn’t happen, and so what we’ve actually found is the number has not changed,” responded Creuzot.

From January 1 to August 31 of 2022, Dallas County reported 20,325 larceny and theft offenses, according to DallasOpenData, representing a 14.40% increase over the number reported in the same period of 2019. Such crimes were 11.83% higher in August 2022 than in January 2019, when Creuzot took office.

The Dallas Express asked if Creuzot was saying it is okay to steal necessities.

“Of course, DA Creuzot does not think it is ‘okay to steal.’ DA Creuzot’s policy regarding Class B Misdemeanor thefts is aimed at refraining from prosecuting someone simply for being poor. This policy focuses on a very narrow class of offense — thefts of necessary items valued between $100-$750. These are thefts that are not for financial gain,” Creuzot’s spokesperson told The Dallas Express.

“Furthermore, our office continues to prosecute many other thefts and robberies vigorously… our office continues to accept 99% of misdemeanor theft cases for prosecution,” the spokesperson added.

However, not everyone agrees that stealing food, diapers, and other necessities is harmless. The outcry was loud and clear.

When Creuzot announced the procedure change in 2019, the largest police union in the state, the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas, demanded that the district attorney resign. The Texas governor and attorney general immediately condemned his decision at the time.

In an interview with NBC, Governor Abbott said the decision was “reckless and irresponsible.”

Governor Abbott continued, saying, “That is legalizing stealing for property less than $750. What kind of message does that send, for one? But for another, listen, if your district attorney wants to change the law, he is in the wrong job. He needs to run for the legislature and come here to try to change the law.”

Note: This article was updated on Tuesday, September 13, at 7:04 p.m. to include additional information.

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

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A K
A K
17 days ago

You failed to include a single statistic saying crime increased. This is the second article you wrote about this same thing that gives zero data.

AAA
AAA
Reply to  A K
17 days ago

Hmmmm, well, let’s think about what you just said. Statistics don’t show an increase. Maybe it’s because “reported thefts” vs “arrests for thefts” for less than $750 are no longer recorded!
“Executive Action” such as this sends a message to vulnerable populations and to society in general that its ok to steal and that theft in general is sanctioned by the government. Other crimes have also been “legalized” by Democrat governments and Leftists such as yourself. It’s all about the destruction of traditional society and the promotion of government dependency, isn’t it.

Gilbert
Gilbert
Reply to  AAA
17 days ago

Crimes are reported by police…NOT the courts! There is no reason for police not to respond to any crime being reported.

AhmNee
AhmNee
Reply to  Gilbert
17 days ago

Many crimes are normally reported by convictions. Otherwise you pollute your data with false reports and reports of crimes where the defendant was acquitted.

Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Reply to  Gilbert
17 days ago

Correct except when the Politicians give Executive Orders for police not to respond to “minor offenses”. I suppose these may be “recorded” by 911 staff but are they recorded for the purposes of your stats? And we all know that the police may not bother to arrest or report crimes because to do all the paperwork just to have some Leftist DA or judge drop the charges doesn’t seem like a good use of their time.

American citizen
American citizen
Reply to  Miles Davis
17 days ago

Quiet demonizing whole parties and your message might be heard. Most of the time if you look in the mirror a lot of problems can be solved. Republicans are quilty of crimes against humanity and if there is a judgement… I feel for your soul! Both parties are guilty!

dernip
dernip
Reply to  American citizen
16 days ago

Did you mean quit instead of quiet?

A K
A K
Reply to  AAA
17 days ago

That doesn’t address the title of this article. If, as you say, there are no statistics due to lack of reporting then how does the author know that crime has increased? They got a spidy sense or something?

Jimmy John
Jimmy John
Reply to  AAA
13 days ago

Wanna talk about the destruction of Society? HowZaBout the trumptards attempting to legalize the theft of National Secrets, including Top Secret Nuclear information?

Olschool
Olschool
Reply to  A K
17 days ago

As a thief, I would be thinking $750.00 a day is not a bad wage. No consequences, only victims who we’ve deemed to be privileged. DA might as well have us put the 750.00 worth of goods out on the curb for pickup..
Hey thieves be sure to try and target old white folks. And before you cut that finger off, ask how much they paid for that ring.
Hey old white folks, you have the right to carry a weapon to stop the aggression. Go get trained now, but know this DA Dumb Ass, will be coming after you.

James
James
Reply to  Olschool
14 days ago

I AM AN “OLD WHITE FOLK” AND IT’S SCARY!!! I WALK WITH A WALKER AND CARRY A CAN OPENER FOR PROTECTION. THAT’S GOING TO CHANGE .
NO MORE FREE RIDES FOR THIS GUY.
VOTE REPUBLICANS AND SEE
THE CHANGE.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE…
BUT YOUR LIFE.

American citizen
American citizen
Reply to  A K
17 days ago

Your message will be heard by more if you quit demonizing a whole party. Democrats are law abiding citizens too. Just as republicans commit crimes against humanity. Truth be told, they both are guilty of horrific crimes! People that demonize entire parties and races of people as will kill the country just like Rome! Please keep it up! The whole world is watching and reading!

A K
A K
Reply to  American citizen
17 days ago

I’m not sure why you replied to me with your comment to stop demonizing whole parties. I haven’t said anything about parties. I’m simply pointing out the that title says there is an increase in crime with no evidence to support the claim.

Just Me
Just Me
Reply to  A K
17 days ago

Do you live in Dallas? If you did you would know crime has risen since this clown took office, hell he lets murders out on ankle monitors. We all know ankle monitors are a joke and so is this District Attorney. Thank GOD I am moving the hell out of Dallas County.

A K
A K
Reply to  Just Me
15 days ago

I live in Carrollton. I didn’t chose a side or state an opinion. I simply asked for the evidence backing the claim that property theft crime has risen, as the title states. If we don’t police our media to be accurate and unbias this forum will turn into a joke along with all the other popular media outlets.

Dot Williams
Dot Williams
17 days ago

We have so many other crimes to worry about. Gregg Abbot has a lot to say he need to stay in his lane. He changed the law by passing a gun law for 18 year old to buy guns and so many have loss their lives by his rile. District Attonery knows what he is doing.

C Robb
C Robb
Reply to  Dot Williams
15 days ago

How many have lost their lives due to this rule? How many due to committing a crime?

James Summers
James Summers
17 days ago

When you prosecute someone for stealing, you’re not prosecuting them for being poor, you’re prosecuting them for committing a crime. Are we changing our society so that if you are poor, you are allowed to commit a crime, as long as it’s not for gain, or if you are rich you can get off because you can afford attorneys? And where does that leave the owner of the store or the rest of society? I guess John Cruezot has decided he will foot the bill for all the stolen goods!

dernip
dernip
Reply to  James Summers
16 days ago

Yeah, right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Concerned
Concerned
17 days ago

Crime is crime. The reasons don’t matter, nor what was stolen. Especially not the color of the thief’s skin. Lowering the bar for a segment of our society based on their race is not the answer. Enforcing the law is.

Citizen
Citizen
Reply to  Concerned
17 days ago

I don’t agree with his policy at all because it leaves the store owner with no protection at all against someone stealing the inventory they use to make a living. But he never mentioned race so I’m not sure how or why you decided this applied to a particular race. This stupid law applies to everybody regardless of race!

AhmNee
AhmNee
Reply to  Citizen
17 days ago

If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.

Greg Mock
Greg Mock
17 days ago

Vote this POS out of office along with the worthless mayor. One responsible for crime and the other for homeless !!!

American citizen
American citizen
Reply to  Greg Mock
17 days ago

Sir! It’s an American illness! Corporate greed is what’s killing the country not petty theft!

Greg Mock
Greg Mock
Reply to  American citizen
17 days ago

Democrats are what’s killing this country . Especially George Sorros

Charles Moncrief
Charles Moncrief
17 days ago

I throw the B.S. flag at the feet of Creuzot. I’ve watched people take more than $100 from small stores, and I’ve watched people take non-necessities from major hardware stores. This DA has a poor work ethic, as well as a rotten attitude for the people in his jurisdiction who try to make a living providing products and services to customers. Let’s see this DA purchase items with his own money, and put those items on the sidewalks outside of the stores. Then maybe he will have some credibility!

Love
Love
Reply to  Charles Moncrief
17 days ago

Keep up the great work Creuzot! I guess if you’ve never been poor and desperate for pampers or any other small things you wouldn’t understand. There is a bigger issue that needs to be addressed and helping those just need basic stuff. Something happened in their life. Let’s come up with solutions to help not lock everyone up.

Matt
Matt
Reply to  Love
17 days ago

Yes, let’s come up with a solution! My suggestion is to support one’s own family within the confines of the law, and that people stop demanding others do so! It’s ludicrous for people to expect others to pay for their needs and wants! Let’s bring back personal and individual accountability!

Monte Mcdearmon
Monte Mcdearmon
Reply to  Matt
17 days ago

yes, Sir MATT well said

Don Bounds
Don Bounds
Reply to  Love
17 days ago

There are charitable/nonprofit organizations that provide necessities for free. I too am appalled at such a change and attitude that 750.00 is of no consequence to any business. That id a flat out lie. And to place this burden on some businesses is crazy. Creuzot needs to pay out of his own pocket the businesses who have been ripped off by these types of theft. This is communism, involuntarily taking from one and giving to another. Please what is next?

AhmNee
AhmNee
Reply to  Don Bounds
17 days ago

We’ve already seen the results of these policies in Commifornia. This goes nowhere good.

Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Reply to  Love
17 days ago

The solution is to end government indoctrination of the vulnerable populations and instead teach the younger generations to value work and not government enslavement. Watch Uncle Tom 2.

Last edited 17 days ago by Miles Davis
Just Me
Just Me
Reply to  Love
17 days ago

Then maybe you shouldn’t have kids if you can’t buy diapers. There is something called cloth diapers

Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Reply to  Charles Moncrief
17 days ago

I live in a border state where there are two good size cities 30 miles apart, about 20 min up the freeway and across the stateline. There is a gang of “Kids” that will go into a store, (currently it’s the Home Depot), and steal items. They then drive up to my town and return the items for “In Store Credit”. Next the stand outside the entrance to the store and sell the “Gift Card” for $0.50 on the dollar. I have complained to management about this practice but they say, “We are aware of this. But it is our corporate policy not to prosecute shoplifting.” 🤦🏻‍♂️

Last edited 17 days ago by Miles Davis
Richard Long
Richard Long
17 days ago

This is a REALLY bad idea; especially in TX. Not only for the shopkeepers but also for the criminals. TX specifically allows (by law) the use of deadly force to prevent robbery (as well as several other enumerated crimes) and is a castle state. Rather than going to jail, this will result in thieves being (rightly) engaged with deadly force to stop their misdeeds. Creating a bad situation for the crook as well as the shopkeeper rightfully defending his property.
Most of us get by–and eat–WITHOUT stealing from others. Been this way for centuries. This is just another case of a globalist-backed DA trying to destroy a civil society and promote communism as a ‘solution.’

Robert Hernandez
Robert Hernandez
17 days ago

Again, when you have demoncrats making Gov’t policy, it never works out correctly. This creuzot has NO business experience, which makes it worse. (2) stikes. He has no idea what he is doing.
G bacjk toplaying Judge creuzot.

AhmNee
AhmNee
Reply to  Robert Hernandez
17 days ago

The left appears to have lost all interest in negotiation or compromise with the rest of the country’s population. They attempt to rule by fiat wherever they can. I hope they get the message this is unacceptable before it comes to blows.

Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Reply to  AhmNee
17 days ago

It sounds like you are talking about “Irreconcilable Differences”.

CASEY128
CASEY128
17 days ago

Cruzot is the #1 reason crime is exploding in Dallas. He’s the #1 reason why as I’m checking out of CVS I can see homeless walking out the store unchallenged with stolen merchandise time and time again. You are either for the rule of law or not and cruzot is not. Vote the ba*%**rd out before we turn into Chicago, New York or worse Portland

Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Reply to  CASEY128
17 days ago

My daughter went to school in the downtown Washington DC area. There was a CVS and a Walgreen’s within two blocks of her apartment. Both were ravaged by shoplifters. Both are now closed.

Tessa
Tessa
Reply to  CASEY128
17 days ago

We left Dallas because of the crime. It was our home for 29 years and we planned to retire there. But crime and disregard for the law ran us out.

Tim
Tim
17 days ago

First this guy is more likely bought and paid for by George Soros Crime syndicate. Secondly, I bet if you look at his voting records he’s a registered Democrat-Communist. Plants like him are why more liberal run cities are failing. The only way to oust these rotten eggs is to vote them out, and replace with true conservative and are not a democrat.

Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Reply to  Tim
17 days ago

This is their way. Infiltrate the institutions of government and society and bring it all down from within. Like a metastasising cancer funded by the likes of Soros and the Internationa lCabal of Progressives ==> AKA ==> Communists. This is the way.

Monte Mcdearmon
Monte Mcdearmon
17 days ago

the voters of Dallas County and the city of Dallas need to vote these LOSERS out of office if they don’t Dallas will stay the GREAT SEWER CITY OF TEXAS

Yvette
Yvette
17 days ago

Let em go Creuzot….and we just wont count half the crimes they commit so we can look good at election time.

CASEY128
CASEY128
Reply to  Yvette
13 days ago

Very catchy. Let ‘em go cry exit. I’m going to remember that. Thanks

RiverKing
RiverKing
17 days ago

Prior to DA Creuzot taking office, thefts less than $100 went to municipal court, bypassing the District Attorney’s office. About three years ago, Creuzot decided to increase that limit from $100 to $750. With these changes, Dallas County DA Creuzot’s office no longer prosecutes individuals accused of stealing property valued at less than $750.”

Frankly, I’m confused. To me, a case of theft being sent to municipal court doesn’t mean the accused is automatically released. Nor does it mean that the accused is not prosecuted; the rest of this statement says, between the lines, that the DA’s office doesn’t prosecute the accused. So who does prosecute? The police? That’s way beyond their law enforcement role.

I suspect it would be more honest to say that thieves of property valued less than $100 were released without further action before DA Creuzot took office and that upper limit has since been raised by Creuzot to $750.

I totally agree with Governor Abbott when he said, ““That is legalizing stealing for property less than $750. …if your district attorney wants to change the law, he is in the wrong job. He needs to run for the legislature and come here to try to change the law.”

BigBill85
BigBill85
17 days ago

My Grandpa was a coal miner in the hills of W.Va. There were nine children. It was difficult making ends meet, so, my Grandmother started to make home brew. Dad would deliver it. One day, everybody was away from the house except the youngest daughter. There was a knock on the door. Two men asked if her parents were home. She said no. They showed their badges. Treasury men. “Well, just tell them we were here.” They never returned but the message had been sent. There was no more home brew. The problem with these shoplifters is that no message is sent.

Last edited 17 days ago by BigBill85
Jimmy John
Jimmy John
Reply to  BigBill85
13 days ago

So you come from family of criminals

Bob
Bob
17 days ago

Soros DA?

Fed Up With Dallas County
Fed Up With Dallas County
Reply to  Bob
14 days ago

Yes. IIRC a $200,000 campaign contribution.

Brenda
Brenda
17 days ago

When I was 17 years old, I was married to an alcoholic who failed to provide groceries and bought beer and marijuana. I was a housewife and at that time had no education. I had no baby formula for my child and no food. I was very embarrassed when the Sheriffs dept picked me up and took me to jail for writing bad checks for groceries. I knew God would not be mad at me for merely stealing groceries. I learned my lesson however the problem of his drinking and drug problems never got arrested and I started dancing in a local topless bar to be able to survive. Thats when my life turned upside down for the worst. I started drinking to be able to perform on stage. That only lead me to drugs and more drugs. Eventually family members adopted my child and there I was out there lost in the wilderness. I hope if any of you are struggling, please don’t be scared to go to a church pantry and get the help you’re looking for. Don’t take the easier and softer way out. Get help, you do not have to steal. Once you start stealing it becomes a habit. Get an education and a job and don’t count on anyone. There are resources out there, I promise you that will feel better about yourself, and your children will respect you and you will like yourself a lot better as well! Get out there and get some of that self-esteem. Be a winner! you won’t regret it!

A K
A K
17 days ago

Where are the crime stats showing theft increased?

David
David
16 days ago

This is the dumbest idea I have ever heard , only a dumocrate would go this .why don’t you go up to Chicago or Ny . Crime !!!

dernip
dernip
16 days ago

This sounds like the types of DA S and prosecutors George Soros spends millions of dollars on to get elected, Of course Dallas county is only going to vote only democrats in.

kevin
kevin
16 days ago

I gladly didn’t vote for Creuzot last time, and I surely WON’T vote for him the next time neither.

Sandy M
Sandy M
16 days ago

Most major stores now keep a running toll of the thieves and the items they take. When they reach a felony amount, they prosecute. Video these days is so good and clear, they know who is stealing and what they are stealing.

Fed Up With Dallas County
Fed Up With Dallas County
14 days ago

I stopped shopping in Dallas County stores and now shop in nearby Ellis County because I do not want to subsidize – through increased prices – George Soros’ and John Cruezot’s destructive policies. Dallas County does not collect sales tax so I don’t have the satisfaction of cutting off the County’s financial oxygen but I will gladly cut off the oxygen to local cities and the retailers who do not have the ‘nads to take on this Soros-funded demon. DIttos for Clay Jenkins and his Covid scam as well. I’ve lived here all my life: Dallas County is a blue sh&t hole.