Runestad reminds residents to protect against ‘porch pirates’

‘I urge everyone to take some simple steps to safeguard against mail theft’

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jim Runestad on Wednesday reminded residents ordering Christmas gifts, food and supplies online to remain vigilant to prevent mail theft.

“In two days it will be Black Friday — the start of the Christmas shopping rush and one of the busiest shopping days of the year — followed by an equally busy Cyber Monday!” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “Due to some of the restrictions we are facing during the pandemic, online shopping is at record levels, which means there have been more packages arriving on our porches than ever before.

“Unfortunately, that also means more thieves are trying to take advantage of the situation to steal your goods. I urge everyone to take some simple steps to safeguard their packages against so-called ‘porch pirates.’”

Runestad said residents should have a plan in place to check their mailboxes regularly and pick up mail as close to the time of delivery as possible.

If mail is suspected missing, it should be reported to the local police immediately; reporting mail theft is essential to impeding its spread.

In response to the growing problem of mail theft, which was at an all-time high in 2019, Runestad introduced Senate Bill 23, now Public Act 48 of 2019. The new law creates state penalties for mail theft, giving more options for state prosecution of these crimes.

“This law went into effect last December” Runestad said. “It has helped provide peace of mind to consumers as the ability to prosecute and punish porch pirates has increased.”

For more information on the law and ways to keep your packages safe, see the Sen. Runestad: Porch Pirates video. Select Video under the “In the News” tab, above.