Apps to keep you safe from porch pirates

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Are you worried about "porch pirates" this holiday season? That's the name for the criminals who stalk neighborhoods and steal UPS and FedEx packages off of people's porches.

According to Nextdoor.com, between now and the end of December, the United States Postal Service expects to deliver more than 15 billion pieces of holiday mail.

This year, technology can play a role in keeping that mail and those holiday packages protected.

Three apps are currently available to help stop porch pirates:
Nextdoor - Stay informed about the happenings in your neighborhood. On Nextdoor, neighbors can ask for help retrieving a delivered package, report suspicious activity, and share surveillance footage with neighbors to help identify a package thief.

Ring - Keep tabs on your front porch while you’re away from home. With Ring, neighbors can answer the door from anywhere with a smartphone or tablet.

Package Guard - Receive an alert the moment your package is removed from your front porch. Package Guard is a Frisbee-shaped device that detects when a package is delivered and will send an alert if the package is removed from the device.

Some facts provided by Nextdoor.com:
• 43% of neighbors report having at least one package stolen, and over 40% of neighbors had multiple packages stolen
• 61% of neighbors say they did not order an item because they were afraid it would be stolen
• 79% of neighbors reported they would ask a neighbor for help looking out for a delivery if they had an easy way to do so
• During the holiday months, Nextdoor sees a 515% increase in posts about stolen or missing packages (we typically see an average of 400 posts per month, but this number jumps to an avg of 2,000 in Nov/Dec)