Coworkers at a tech startup in Dallas’ West End say several employees have been hit with car thefts over the last several months, part of an increase in thefts reported not only across the city but nationally.
“I remember driving to the office that morning and arriving about 7:30, 8 o’clock,” said Michael Egan.
On a mid-October day, it was like any other for Egan until it was time to head home, and his truck, left in a pay lot on North Lamar, was gone.
“I definitely felt a moment of panic when I saw it wasn’t there, confusion. All of that set in right away,” he said.
Egan said police were quick to respond and take a report, but the stolen truck was never recovered.
Two months later, he said the same thing happened to a coworker. Then, several others in his office had catalytic converters stolen, all from lots in the area including two under Woodall Rodgers.
“There’s a good amount of frustration for sure amongst some of my colleagues about what’s going on here,” said Egan.
While violent crime is down in Dallas, data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System and COMPSTAT shows car thefts in Dallas’s central division have increased 84% year to date.
As of January 23rd, 144 cars were reported stolen. The previous year the number at that time was 78.
City-wide, car thefts are up 35% from the previous January.
Meanwhile, car burglaries were down.
The car theft increase is part of a nationwide trend that the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported was due in part to the pandemic.
“I know that there’s a focus on violent crime right now, but I would love to see somebody doing something that works, some kind of action that’s effect driven that actually drives down the crime, because whatever’s being done today as a response just isn’t effective,” said Egan.
NBC DFW reached out to city leaders and Dallas Police and are awaiting response.