Dallas, TX

Rising Auto Thefts in Dallas: A Growing Problem with Real-Life Consequences for Citizens

Larry Lease

Thefts of cars, trucks and SUVs in the city have increased significantly. There were more than 13,000 auto thefts this past year.Photo byErik McleanonUnsplash

In 2022, Dallas city officials reported a decrease in violent crime, however, non-violent crimes such as auto thefts have risen significantly. According to the Dallas Police Department, there were 13,356 motor vehicle thefts in 2022 alone, a 12% increase from the previous year. The causes for this spike in auto thefts are attributed to both technological advancements that aid criminals and the economic effects of the pandemic leading to higher vehicle demand.

Many stolen vehicles are taken to chop shops to be parted out, or VIN-swapped and resold to unsuspecting buyers. However, Lieutenant Adam Georgitso of Dallas PD also noted to Fox 4 that half of the vehicle thefts are isolated crimes of opportunity, while the other half is organized crime, some even carried out by larger organizations operating in multiple cities. The police department made 900 motor vehicle theft arrests in 2022 and recovered over 600 stolen vehicles. However, the problem of vehicle theft remains ongoing in the North Texas area.

As the problem of auto theft continues to rise in Dallas, it is not just affecting the city's residents but also their daily lives and livelihood. For example, the Cantu family, who had their Chevy suburban stolen last month outside of their Pleasant Grove apartment, lost not only their only mode of transportation but also some of their children's opened Christmas presents that were inside the SUV at the time of the theft. Fox 4 reports that without a vehicle, the husband now has to walk 15 minutes to his job at a convenience store, which he describes as being dangerous in their neighborhood.

The Dallas Police Department has been taking steps to combat the rise in auto thefts. For example, using flock cameras that read and identify stolen vehicles have led to arrests. Additionally, the department has also been working on cracking down on organized crime groups and chop shops that are involved in the auto theft ring. But despite these efforts, the problem remains persistent, with Lieutenant Georgitso noting that they are "back to square one."

To prevent auto theft, the Dallas Police Department advises citizens to park in well-lit areas, remove valuables from their car, close all windows and lock the doors, and to use an anti-theft device. Citizens are also advised to record the vehicle identification number (VIN) and license plate number, as well as take a photo of the car, to aid in recovery efforts if the vehicle is stolen.

In addition to these prevention tips, residents are urged to report any suspicious behavior or crime immediately to the police department, as well as making the effort to not leave the keys or fobs in or around the car.

The issue of auto theft in Dallas is a serious one that affects not only the safety and security of citizens but also their daily lives and livelihood. The Dallas Police Department continues to work on combating the problem, but citizens also play an important role in preventing auto thefts and keeping themselves and their communities safe.

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I specialize in crime, entertainment and political stories. I have spent eight years as a freelance writer and journalist.

Dallas, TX

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