Car thefts jump, other Oakwood crime also up in 2022; total numbers still low

OAKWOOD — A sharp rise in automobile thefts was reported last year in Oakwood, part of a regional trend that remains strong through early 2023, the city’s police chief said.

Vehicle theft reports increased from 2 in 2021 to 20 in 2022, accounting for a significant piece of the increase in major crimes recorded in the city last year, Oakwood Safety Director Alan Hill said recently.

Oakwood had seven auto thefts in January 2023, including six in one week, he added.

“Where we’re at right now for a region is it’s not stopping or slowing down,” Hill said, noting more than 60 cars stolen in Dayton in a week last month. “We’re feeling that locally as well.”

In the vast majority of Oakwood cases, “the vehicle was unlocked and the keys were inside,” he told city council. “You leave your car unlocked and the keys inside in the vehicle in our region with what we’re seeing now, there is a chance that when you walk out in the morning, your car won’t be there.

“It doesn’t matter what community — Oakwood, Kettering, Centerville, Dayton, Huber Heights, Englewood, Trotwood — wherever you go, we’re seeing it across the region,” Hill added.

Oakwood crimes not only included stolen vehicles, “but thefts from motor vehicles. People leaving valuables in the car when they’re unlocked. It’s a crime of opportunity.”

Overall, crime numbers last year in Oakwood grew to 190 cases, up from 111 a year prior, according to city records.

The total included a jump in Part I major crimes — as defined by the FBI’s uniform crime reporting — from 85 two years ago to 143 last year, records show. Aside from auto thefts, those also include criminal homicide, attempted murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and larceny or theft.

Once again Oakwood reported no homicides or attempts in 2022, but after a 2021 with zero aggravated assaults and only two burglaries, the city had seven of each in 2022.

Larcenies in Oakwood totaled 107 last year, increasing by 26 from 2021, “a pretty significant increase,” Hill said.

“We were much busier in 2022,” Hill said. “We had a very active last year in comparison to the previous years.

“But with that said,” he added, “we continue to have one of the safest communities in the entire state and one of the safest communities in the region — very low overall crime numbers.”

Oakwood’s “officer on scene response time for any emergency is under three minutes, by far the fastest in the region,” Mayor Bill Duncan said in his state of the city address.

Oakwood crime up from 2021

Crime 20212022
Criminal homicide00
Attempted murder00
Aggravated assault07
Auto thefts220
Note: These are the city's Part I major crimes, per the Oakwood Safety Department.

About the Author