MPD updates city council on monthly crime report

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 6:02 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Police Department provided the Memphis City Council with its updated crime report for the month of November.

During the Tuesday morning committee meeting, MPD reported that auto thefts and theft of motor vehicles are the driving crime in the Bluff City.

There have been thousands of cars stolen and even more arrests made.

“We are in a situation where we need everybody’s help,” Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis said.

The monthly crime report comes just one day after a Memphis police officer was shot while responding to a call on Winchester Road and Lamar Avenue.

“All of our reported crimes and part one crimes did go up,” Deputy Police Chief Joe Oakley said. Our homicides were down for the month, and we’re pleased to say they’re down around 20 percent.”

The department says there were 15 homicides in November, the lowest month of the year so far.

October saw 17, which police say is less than half (38) the number of homicides in October of 2021.

However, auto theft and theft of motor vehicles are the city’s crime drivers according to MPD.

“It’s a pretty serious situation because a lot of the stolen vehicles that we’re seeing on our roads right are vehicles that are being used in other crimes,” Chief Davis said.

MPD says it’s teens they’re arresting for these crimes the most.

“We’ve had 1266 (arrests) and last month, the 18-year-olds were up at the top, this time it’s our 16-year-olds,” Deputy Cheif Oakley said. 124, 16-year-olds have been arrested for auto theft.”

Chief Davis told the council the issue is a nationwide trend.

“We just ask that our public help us with young people who are committing crimes,” she said. If you know about it, talk to somebody, we’re not interested in arresting a bunch of children, but we are interested in making sure that their lives are protected because much of what they’re doing is very dangerous.”

The chief also says parents must do their part to keep not only their children, but the community safe.

“We want parents to be just more aware of where their children are at 2 and 3 o’clock in the morning,” Chief Davis said. “A 14 or 15-year-old should be at home, people think the police are babysitters, and we are not.”

Chief Davis also said the department plans to give away 1,000 more steering wheel locks in response to the spike in auto thefts.

She says the next distribution will focus on people who drive Kia’s and Hyundai’s first.

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