Porch pirate penalty increase

NILES, Mich.-- The state of Michigan is cracking down on the "porch pirates" and many Michiana residents feel they are doing it at the perfect time of year.

It has been happening all over.

Videos have been flooding social media as people across the country and right here in Michiana are trying to put a stop to these "package pirates who have been stealing holiday gifts.

People have been going right up to front doors across the nation picking up and stealing packages full of gifts, medications, and other belongings.

Communities have gotten so fed up, some people have even tried to prank the thieves by planting fake boxes on their front porches with trash, cigarette butts, and even cat litter.

And Michigan legislators have decided enough is enough.

Monday Michigan Senate officials voted to make repeat thieves a felony offense. And last Thursday they made combating mail theft, from mailboxes and even doorsteps a priority by making piracy a state level crime that can be prosecuted on the local level.

Police departments around the country have been warning their communities to not let themselves be taken advantage of.

The Saint Joseph County Police Department made a Facebook post reminding people to not make themselves a victim. 

They recommend people seek other options such as having neighbors and family look out for your mail, especially when you are away, and utilizing Amazon hub lockers to keep your gifts, medications, and belongings safe.

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