The holiday season is here and Michigan residents are shopping online for gifts. Shopping online saves time but is it safe to do so? Michigan's porch pirates are waiting to steal your packages that you had delivered to your front porch.

What Is A Porch Pirate?

Porch pirates are low lifes that want to ruin your day. Urban Dictionary sums it up:

Person or persons who steal packages off of unsuspectingcustomers porches or front door areas.

Sometimes homeowners will ask for the packages to be hidden. Porch pirates will stalk your residence if they see something they want.

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What's Michigan's Legal Stance On Porch Piracy?

Michigan isn't messing around with porch pirates. Frank Stanley:

If a person is found guilty of stealing a package for the first time, they will be charged with a misdemeanor, and they will face up to one year in jail. However, if a person is found guilty of repeat offenses, they will be charged with a felony. This will make prison time almost guaranteed, and they may face up to five years behind bars.

It's a dumb idea, plain and simple.

A welcome sign at the Michigan state line.

How Does Michigan Rank Nationwide With Porch Pirates?

In a recent study by SafewiseGrand Rapids placed ninth on the Top 10 list of Worst Metros for Package Theft. The study included:

On top of ranking cities based on theft data and searches for "stolen package," we also talked to people in every state to find out if they're worried about package theft, if they use any security measures to deter porch pirates, and if so, what measures they use.

This is interesting data that they accumulated. I'd prefer a better way to safeguard my packages. This is what's happening in Grand Rapids.

  • 55% of those surveyed are worried about their packages being stolen from their porch.
  • 70% of those surveyed use a theft deterrent.
  • 30% of those surveyed do not use a theft detterent.
  • Verify Delivery is the most used theft deterrent in Grand Rapids.

I want more than a verify delivery, it's great that it was delivered. If I cannot make it home to secure the package it's fair game.


Porch Pirate Packages By The Numbers

What are Michigan's porch pirates going after?

  • 4 in 10 people who had a package stolen in the past year were hit by porch pirates more than once.
  • 71% of all packages stolen were valued at $100 or less—but if you pick $50 as an average loss, we estimate up to $6 billion in losses.
  • 2023’s estimated losses are 5% higher than in 2022.
  • Over half of all stolen packages were delivered by Amazon.

How To Fight Against Porch Pirates In Michigan?

You don't have to sit there and watch your packages get stolen. Michigan has your back and offers tips:

  • Ship to an Amazon Locker, Fed Ex office or your office, if allowed.
  • Keep your porch well lit.
  • Make it look like you are home (leave on lights, music, etc.).
  • Install a motion detector or front porch camera that you can monitor online or receive notices if there is movement.

The Attorney General's Office wants to hear from you. If you have a general consumer complaint, you may file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Team:

Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Fax: 517-241-3771
Toll free: 877-765-8388

Best of luck this holiday season, fight the pirates and win!

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