Texas Makes ‘Porch Pirating’ a Felony – Should More States Follow?
Should package theft be a felony?
by Countable | 9.9.19
What’s the story?
- Texas porch pirates beware: stealing packages is a felony in the Lone Star state as of September 1st.
- HB 37 made stealing anything that can be considered mail a felony, including letters, postcards, packages, and other sealed items. Also included under the law is mail that has been left to be collected for delivery.
- The crime is considered a first-degree felony if one stole from over 50 people, a second-degree felony if one stole from 20-50 people, and a state felony if you steal from less than 10 people. A person who is caught and convicted should expect to spend between six months to ten years in prison.
What are people saying?
- “They’re looking at time so it’s definitely a deterrent,” Texas state Rep. Ina Minjarez (D-San Antonio) told KSAT.
“All of our mail here in this building, we get hit several times. It’s a problem everywhere,” Minjarez said.
- Lt. Scott Hill with the Abilene Police department said that the problem is that porch pirating is not just a one time occurrence—thieves steal packages multiple times without getting caught.
- Only 18 cases of mail theft were reported to the Abilene Police Department this year. Hill told KTXS12 he believes this number is low because victims tend to report these cases to the post office or delivery service instead.
- “Unfortunately, there’s always those bad guys out there that are gonna try to get away with it,” Hill said. “But hopefully with the stiffer penalty, we can deter some of this crime.”
- Molly, an Austin resident who didn’t provide her last name, told the local Fox affiliate: “When it hits you it’s a whole different story because you don’t feel safe in your own home when people are taking things right from your door step.”
- However, she questions if the new law will deter any porch pirates.
“Happy to hear it is a felony I don’t know if that will deter anyone from doing it, but I hope it does. We’ll see,” Molly said.
What do you think?
Do you think that making package theft a felony will help deter thieves? Or should homeowners just leave fart-spray, glitter-projecting packages to teach thieves a lesson? Contact your representatives, share your opinions, and protect those vital Amazon Prime packages.
(Photo Credit: iStock / shotbydave)
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