Mason Bazinat\Laredo Resident: “Well since I moved here about eight months ago, my car has been broken into three times.” Laredo has been known across the country for its car thefts. But that image could soon fade away according to the Laredo Police Department. Police Chief Carlos Maldonado said last year auto thefts dropped 49 percent. "Auto theft, just as an example, January through December 2009, 1,482 vehicles. January through December 2011, 486. That's significant." Chief Maldonado also said the police department was able to purchase new equipment last year for better efficiency. Two towers were also purchased last year to help Laredo police catch car thieves. "We have elevated observation posts so you get higher elevation of view around parking lot areas and areas that are susceptible to incidents, whether it be stolen vehicles or thefts in general. So that's been a good deterrent for us." Laredo police also reported they hired an additional 21 officers in 2011 to help with crime. Residents were shocked to learn that car thefts have dropped almost 50 percent in one year. Rafaela Sanchez\Resident: "Forty-nine percent here in Laredo? Well that makes me feel like I'm wrong and its getting better." Jaime Delgado\Resident: "Forty-nine percent? Amazing. That's unbelievable." Chief Maldonado still said he feels behind the curve and will continue working to see a reduction in crime. Laredo police also report burglaries dropped 18 percent last year and overall crime saw a 2 percent decrease.