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PHOENIX -- Good news for Valley drivers: Phoenix has seen a drop in the number of car thefts.

Stephanie Dembowski, a spokeswoman for AAA Arizona, said according to recent numbers from the National Insurance Crime Bureau's annual Hot Spots list, Phoenix fell 13 places in 2013.

"Arizona has plummeted in recent years," Dembowski said, dropping from No. 70 to No. 83.

Last year's drop is a continuation of an overall trend for much of the last decade. In 2005, Dembowski said Phoenix was the fourth-worst city for car theft in the nation.

"So in less than 10 years we've really dropped our auto thefts, which is great news for drivers," she said.

Dembowski attributed the decline to awareness and law enforcement's focus on the issue.

Just because thefts are down though, she said it's no time to start getting lazy.

"You don't want to lose your common sense," Dembowski said. "Never leave your (running) car unattended, keep locking your vehicle at all times, keep all personal and valuable items stowed away, activate your car alarm if you have one."

Demboski also recommended parking in well-lit, public areas and installing motion-activated flood lights near vehicles not parked in garages.

Tucson also enjoyed a noticeable drop in car thefts, falling from 44th to 68th.

Mark Remillard,

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