2023 1st Quarter Public Safety Report
Published on April 20, 2023
Charlotte, N.C. – (Thursday, April 20, 2023) – Today, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) released its first quarter public safety report revealing a 6% decrease in violent crime from the same time frame in 2022.
“Reducing violent crime is the top priority for Chief Johnny Jennings and the CMPD,” said Deputy Chief Tonya Arrington. “We attribute the decrease in 2023 to the tireless efforts of our entire CMPD staff and our strong community partnerships.”
Proactive work this quarter resulted in a rise in overall arrests (up 13%) and firearm seizures (up 12%), despite facing a department and nationwide officer shortage.
Other positive trends include a drop in robberies (down 5%), burglaries (down 3%), rapes (down 22%), and aggravated assaults (down 6%). Homicides (up 26%) and property crime (up 10%) both rose through the first 3 months of 2023.
The largest contributor to the rise in overall crime incidents in 2023 has been auto thefts. The CMPD has reported a 99% increase in auto thefts in 2023 compared to the same time frame in 2022.
The spike in auto thefts is traced back to a social media trend, the ‘Kia Challenge’ that originated in the summer of 2022. It gave details on how to steal Kia and Hyundai vehicles easily without needing keys. In 2023, Kia and Hyundai thefts have risen by 1,747%. Ninety-five percent of suspects arrested for a Kia and Hyundai theft have been juveniles. Juveniles have also accounted for 62% of all auto theft arrestees.
The CMPD has addressed and will continue to address this trend through increased enforcement and education. Officers have recovered more than half of all stolen vehicles in 2023, and have made nearly 250 auto theft arrests, an increase of 64% from 2022. The CMPD has held a giveaway for steering wheel “club” anti-theft devices for Kia and Hyundai vehicles with another giveaway event scheduled for April 29th. CMPD’s Public Affairs Office has put out materials on the Kia/Hyundai Challenge with prevention tips to educate vehicle owners.
The CMPD is addressing another trend with increased enforcement. The CMPD’s Transportation Division is reporting arrests, citations, and vehicle seizures linked to “street takeovers”. The trend involves groups of drivers shutting down intersections to perform reckless driving stunts like burnouts, drifting, and doughnuts. Since February, CMPD has made 11 arrests, issued 78 citations, and towed 34 vehicles linked to street takeover incidents. The department will continue to pursue every legal avenue available to hold reckless drivers accountable, including vehicle seizures.
The CMPD is urging parents and caregivers to be active and involved in the children’s lives to help curb the ongoing increase in juvenile crime.
The CMPD offers nearly two dozen community engagement programs aimed at youth development with more than 32,000 participants. Many summer programs will be available in 2023 to provide structure and positive outlets for children. A full list of programs is available on the CMPD website under the Community Involvement tab. The CMPD also has free gun locks available to Charlotte citizens. Contact your neighborhood division office to request one.
The following statistical breakdown below provides an overall snapshot of crime (YTD) in 2023 compared to 2022:
- Violent crimes were 1,629 compared to 1,737 in 2022.
- Homicides were 24 compared to 19 in 2022.
- Rapes were 56 compared to 72 in 2022.
- Armed robberies were 308 compared to 325 in 2022.
- Property crimes were 8,030 compared to 7,289 in 2022.
- Residential burglaries were 404 compared to 465 in 2022.
- Commercial burglaries were 514 compared to 480 in 2022.
- Larcenies from automobiles were 2,306 compared to 2,232 in 2022.
- Vehicle thefts were 1,468 compared to 738 in 2022.
- Arsons were 30 compared to 31 in 2022.
To review the full press conference: