Should Louisiana Make Package Theft A Felony?
The Christmas holidays are fast approaching, which means that you will likely see a huge increase in the number of packages you have delivered to your home.
Just how safe are those packages once they've reached your home?
Porch pirates absolutely love this time of year! It's literally "Christmas Come Early" for these low-life law breaking thieves.
They know that all they have to do is spend an afternoon cruising around prominent neighborhoods or apartment complexes keeping an eye open for any unguarded Christmas deliveries left on someone's porch and it suddenly becomes payday!
And porch piracy is big business! According to research done by security.org, "The median value of stolen merchandise was $50, with state-specific averages varying from $30 (Arizona) to $80 (Alaska). The incident rates and average loss captured in our research reflect more than $2.4 billion in stolen goods over the past 12 months.
In light of these staggering losses, a number of states, including Texas, have made package theft a felony.
An article from businessinsider.com highlights each of those states who have made package theft a felony and what the penalties are for those convicted:
- Texas — Package theft has been a felony since 2019, with a penalty of six months to 10 years in prison, which can be increased if the crime involved disabled or elderly people.
- Michigan — Package theft is considered a felony on the second violation, with a penalty of up to five years in prison.
- Oklahoma — Package theft can be charged as a felony if the perpetrator is convicted of three instances within 60 days. The punishment is up to five years in prison.
- Arkansas — Package theft has been a felony since 2021, punishable by up to six years in prison.
- Tennessee — Package theft has been a felony since 2021, punishable by up to six years in prison.
- Georgia — Since 2021, package theft can be charged as a felony since if the perpetrator has taken three packages or pieces of mail from one address or 10 or more pieces from three or more addresses. The crime is punishable by up to five years in prison.
- New Jersey — At the end of 2022, package theft became a "third-degree crime" in New Jersey with a punishment of up to five years in prison.
- Kentucky — Package theft became a felony punishable by up to five years in prison last year.
Honesty, I can't believe that Louisiana hasn't already passed similar legislation since findings released by safewise.com show New Orleans to be the tenth hardest hit city by porch pirates in the entire country.
While I have yet to find any data suggesting that making package theft a felony is actually reducing the instances of the crime, one thing's for sure, it can't hurt.
Hey Louisiana legislators, let's kick the tires on this idea and do something before this stuff gets completely out of control.