A new report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) states that metal theft is on the rise across the nation. Citing data recorded from Jan. 1, 2009 through Dec. 31, 2011, the report shows that thefts steadily increased across the U.S. as driven by rising prices for base metals — especially copper.

This report showed an 81 percent increase in insurance claims for metal theft since the 2006-2008 report, with 25,083 claims (2006-2008: 13,861). The top five states for metal theft claims are Ohio, Texas, Georgia, California and Illinois, and the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL area is the leading area in the nation for metal theft claims, with 963 reported incidents in the 2009-2011 period, the report says.

Metal theft has recently made the news for a blackout of runway approach lights at the Modesto, Calif., regional airport, adding to the history of theft from highway lights, traffic controls and even brass grave markers, according to the report.