Just-Auto.com has announced that vehicle theft in the US is on the rise for the first time in a decade, particularly near ports and international borders, according to an insurance fraud organization. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) said the top 10 metropolitan areas for vehicle theft are all in or near ports, close to Canadian or Mexican borders or within easy reach of them. The NICB study analyzed 2001 vehicle theft rates for metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and vehicle theft data collected from the FBI. MSAs, designated by the US census bureau, include cities as well as communities in the surrounding area. According to the NICB, the 10 MSAs with the highest vehicle theft rates in 2001 were Phoenix, Arizona; Miami, Florida; Fresno, California; Detroit, Michigan; Sacramento California; Tacoma, Washington; Stockton, California; Seattle, Washington; and Jersey City, New Jersey. The company also states that FBI statistics show that the 10-year decline in vehicle theft rates has stopped, with an increase of 1.2 percent from 1999 to 2000. Nearly 1.2 million vehicles, costing more than $7.5 billion dollars, are stolen nationwide each year and over 30 percent are never recovered, according to the study. Many of the unrecovered vehicles are shipped overseas or driven across international borders with about 200,000 vehicles illegally exported each year, the NICB said.