Concerns Rising as More Teens Are Committing Violent Crimes in Dallas

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When it comes to violent crimes experts are seeing a disturbing trend.

"The criminal pool is expanding, and we are seeing kids partake in crimes we did not historically see them engage in,” Crime Stoppers Houston CEO Rania Mankarious said. “It's more critical than ever that we start bridging the gaps and doing what we can to reach our youth."

According to Dallas Police Department online records, the number of juvenile arrests rose from last year in February and March.

February 2022 saw 80 arrests and there were 85 arrests in February of 2023.

March 2022 saw 89 arrests and there were 107 arrests in March of 2023.

It was down slightly in April from 85 arrests in 2022 to 62 arrests in April of 2023. 

May numbers haven't been posted yet.

Thursday Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia praised his investigators for arresting four teens connected to several violent robberies.

"Again, these were perpetrated by, again, three 16-year-olds and a 15-year-old,” Garcia said. “With that type of violence, really, can't put my finger on what's occurring." 

Mankarious says several factors contribute to the increase including anxiety, depression, and youth feeling they are in a crisis mode.

Also, technology could play a part.

"We notice teens are spending more time on their devices,” Mankarious said. “They are consuming a lot of hateful content, a lot of violent content. They feel a bit disconnected from family and community and they are acting out more aggressively."

Community groups like Urban Specialists and police agree it will take law enforcement and the community working together to find solutions.

"Together we are going to work this out,” Urban Specialist CEO Antong Lucky said. “We are going to work hand in hand and support each other.  Because our mission is how do we stop violence in our city."

"It's something we'll continue to work with city and providers and advocates and our community really to get the message out," Garcia said.

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