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New 'porch pirate' law takes effect Dec. 16

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Posted at 10:40 PM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-13 09:54:34-05

HOLLAND, Mich. — As the holiday shipping season ramps up, so does the number of police reports for stolen packages.

Holland Department of Public Safety released a video Thursday that shows a man grabbing a package from someone’s doorstep and driving off.

The department says in the past two weeks, they’ve received eight similar complaints.

“I asked around right in my vicinity and the same thing had been happening,” Teri Fanslow said.

A few weeks ago, Fanslow had a package delivered to her home on the west side of Grand Rapids.

The delivery was confirmed but when she got home from work, it wasn’t there.

“Anything else I have delivered I now deliver to my work, I just don’t take the chance,” Fanslow said.

Lawmakers are hopeful a new law that goes into effect on Monday, will help deter “porch pirates.”

With home security cameras becoming more common, alleged thieves are being caught in the act but crimes are rarely prosecuted because mail theft is technically under federal jurisdiction.

On Monday, a new state law takes effect to close the gap.

If caught stealing, mail thieves could face fines and up to a year in jail.

Repeat offenders could face up to five years in prison.

Law enforcement says people should still be vigilant about when and where their gifts are getting shipped.