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Will Councilman West Let Crimes Like Vehicle Theft Continue to Rise in D1?

Crime Boss, Featured

Man dressed in black committing a vehicle theft. | Image by djedzura

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City of Dallas Councilman Chad West of District 1 was named “Crime Boss of the Month” for January. His district Crime Score increased 21% from December 2020 to December 2021. The Bishop Arts District and parts of Oak Cliff are located in District 1, southwest of downtown Dallas.

The most significant increase in crimes in District 1 between December 2020 and December 2021 was in the category of Motor Vehicle Thefts, which increased by 77% from a total of 97 to 172. When comparing statistics, all but four of Dallas’ fourteen districts saw an increase in motor vehicle thefts. A total of 31 car thefts were reported in District 7, 27 in District 5, 23 in District 10, and 4 in District 9.

The other ten Dallas Districts saw an increase in motor vehicle thefts, with District 2 having the most at 129 and District 1 having the second most at 75 in December 2021.

Last week, West’s office told The Dallas Express that vehicle thefts have increased across the entire city, and actions are being taken by the Dallas Police Department to curb the trend. When bait cars are available, the Southwest Patrol Division uses them to arrest and interview people for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (UUMV) crimes.

Just this past month, on January 22, a vehicle check conducted by Dallas PD on North Marsalis Avenue and East 8th Street led to a SWAT standoff that ended with six suspects arrested. Dallas Police said that a pickup truck was stopped on that day, and the vehicles were deemed “stolen” by the investigating officers.

The driver of the vehicle refused to stop and the Department of Public Safety’s helicopter, DPS-101, followed the stolen pickup truck for 22 minutes. The suspects in the car then entered a home and barricaded themselves inside. SWAT teams entered the house and found six individuals inside, including the two suspects from the stolen vehicle. All six were arrested by Dallas PD.

West’s office said that officers are currently going by former chop shop locations and attempting to see if they are active again. (Dallas Police officers with the Auto Theft Task Force did uncover an illegal chop shop in Oak Cliff just outside District 1 near the end of December. Inside were thirty-two disassembled vehicles, and more were hidden in a nearby wooded lot. Dallas PD arrested two suspects in connection with this discovery.)

The Dallas Police Department also did an E-tag operation two weeks ago in the southern part of the division to target UUMV and will continue conducting similar operations throughout District 1.

The Dallas Express contacted Councilman West’s office asking questions about the responses he provided for last week’s Crime Boss installment. Specifically, West was asked if there are times in District 1 that police are not able to be proactive due to low staffing when it comes to Traffic, Public Intoxication, and Drug or Narcotic violations. The Dallas Express also asked for clarification on city-wide vehicle thefts and why District 1 had the highest increase of all Dallas districts when comparing January 2020 and 2021. West’s office had not responded by the time of this article’s publishing.

Other increases in District 1 crime from December 2020 to December 2021 are:

  • Theft/Larceny: Increase of 17 from 2020, 127 versus 110.
  • Drug/Narcotic Violations: Up 16 from 2020, 36 versus 20.
  • DUI: Up 6, 11 versus 5.
  • Family Non-Violent Offenses: Increase of 4, 4 versus 0.
  • Fraud Offenses: Up 2, 8 versus 6.
  • Homicide: Increase of 1, 1 in 2021 and 0 in 2020.

In mid-January, the Dallas Police Department responded to a shooting call in the 4300 block of Wyoming Street, near the Highland Road Village Apartments close to South Cockrell Hill Road. Police said the man was shot from inside a parked car.

The victim was taken to a local hospital and died there. He has yet to be identified by police. Before law enforcement arrived, the shooter had fled. The potential suspect’s or vehicle’s description is still unknown.

“Violent crime is down with the Southwest Division being the #2 reducer in violent crime in 2021,” West’s office said.

According to the most recent statistics released by the Texas Department of Public Safety in 2020, and recently reported by The Dallas Express, Dallas had a total crime rate of approximately 4.3 criminal offenses per 100 residents, which was higher than Texas cities Austin (4.1), Fort Worth (3.3), and El Paso (3.4). It is also higher than the rates in Boston, MA (2.8) and San Diego, CA (2.2), which have populations comparable to Dallas.

How did your area stack up on crime? Check out our interactive Crime Map to compare all Dallas City Council Districts.

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