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PHOENIX -- Metrocenter mall isn't what it used to be, but police said it's making a comeback.

"It hasn't always had the reputation that it probably has now," said Phoenix Police Commander Chuck Miller.

He recalls being a teenager and heading to the mall, near Interstate 17 and Dunlap Avenue, after football games and on weekends. "It was the place to be," said Miller.

Over the years, as larger anchor businesses closed their doors, smaller stores followed suit.

The area around Metrocenter has been plagued with crime and people feared gang activity. Slowly but predictably, shoppers headed elsewhere to spend their dollars.

"My message is, if you haven't been you need to go, because it's on the right track," Miller said.

He said violent crime in the area has dropped by over 25 percent since 2007, and car thefts have dropped by 80 percent.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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