“Porch pirates” could face greater consequences after Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) recently signed a law making penalties more harsh.
According to bill sponsor State Sen. Frank Farry (R), those who committed mail theft were previously charged with other theft offenses based on the value of the items, WNEP reported Friday.
In November, law enforcement officials said thieves were targeting packages left on homeowners’ porches at a high rate during the holiday season, NBC 10 Philadelphia reported:
According to the WNEP article, “First-time offenders who steal mail worth less than $200 can expect a summary — sort of like a ticket.” It added, “Those who break the law three or more times can be charged with a felony, as could anyone who steals mail valued at more than $2,000.”
Throop Police Chief Andrew Kerecman is in favor of the law, stating, “If you don’t penalize somebody for doing something, they’ll continue to do it.”
During a recent interview with Fox 29 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania State Rep. Kathleen Tomlinson (R) said, “Almost everyone has a camera out front of their house. People are still stealing regardless of the camera.”
“So, hopefully, with the camera and extra penalties, it will deter them from doing so,” she added:
In Texas, a Harris County deputy made it his mission to warn delivery drivers about the porch pirate issue plaguing residents, KPRC reported Thursday.
“We just want to make sure you guys are safe because I know that, during the holidays, porch pirates are out. So if you guys see anything suspicious, if you see any cars following you, just give us a call,” he told one delivery man:
The officer said he and other law enforcement officers were looking out for residents and delivery drivers.
According to WNEP, the law will take effect in approximately 60 days. The report also notes that Pennsylvania joins several other states in making the criminal act a felony.