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State Rep to Introduce Legislation Targeting Porch Pirates

A Bucks County law maker wants to stop porch piracy in its tracks with a new measure she is planning to introduce.

State Rep. Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks) will soon introduce legislation to crack down on home delivery theft.

“With the ongoing pandemic, online purchases have skyrocketed,” Thomas said.

Credit: State Rep. Wendi Thomas

Thomas is crafting the legislation with input from Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub. With the continuing COVID-19 health crisis, many packages are being left unattended on porches to avoid unnecessary interactions.

A 2019 report found that 36% of Americans who shop online have had a package stolen.  Surveys done in 2021 found that Americans lost about $210 million to porch pirates.

“As we’ve come to depend on commerce by mail in this digital age, package theft is growing, and that’s creating a need for a law specifically aimed at ‘porch piracy’ to more accurately reflect our societal values and deter these thieves through increased criminal penalties,” Weintraub said.

Theft of mail is currently charged as a theft offense based solely on the value of the item taken. Thomas’s bill would implement specific penalties for theft of mail which includes a package, bag or letter. The grading of this offense would increase if the person has prior convictions for theft of mail. Under the legislation, the first offense would be a summary offense provided the value of the merchandise is less than $150. If the value of the package is more than $150, or the act is a second offense, the offender would face a second-degree misdemeanor. A third offense, regardless of the package value, would be a third-degree felony.

 

 

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State Rep to Introduce Legislation Targeting Porch Pirates

A Bucks County law maker wants to stop porch piracy in its tracks with a new measure she is planning to introduce.

State Rep. Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks) will soon introduce legislation to crack down on home delivery theft.

“With the ongoing pandemic, online purchases have skyrocketed,” Thomas said.

Credit: State Rep. Wendi Thomas

Thomas is crafting the legislation with input from Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub. With the continuing COVID-19 health crisis, many packages are being left unattended on porches to avoid unnecessary interactions.

A 2019 report found that 36% of Americans who shop online have had a package stolen.  Surveys done in 2021 found that Americans lost about $210 million to porch pirates.

“As we’ve come to depend on commerce by mail in this digital age, package theft is growing, and that’s creating a need for a law specifically aimed at ‘porch piracy’ to more accurately reflect our societal values and deter these thieves through increased criminal penalties,” Weintraub said.

Theft of mail is currently charged as a theft offense based solely on the value of the item taken. Thomas’s bill would implement specific penalties for theft of mail which includes a package, bag or letter. The grading of this offense would increase if the person has prior convictions for theft of mail. Under the legislation, the first offense would be a summary offense provided the value of the merchandise is less than $150. If the value of the package is more than $150, or the act is a second offense, the offender would face a second-degree misdemeanor. A third offense, regardless of the package value, would be a third-degree felony.

 

 

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