Proposed Missouri Senate bill could mean more consequences for porch pirates

Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 6:40 PM CST
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KY3) - Porch pirates have more packages than ever to choose from, but the offense could soon come with a more serious punishment in Missouri.

As online shopping becomes an American mainstay, the number of package thefts nationally continues to rise. Nearly two-thirds of Americans have fallen victim to the crime.

In some states, like Missouri, the punishment varies on what was stolen.

”It really depends on the value of the property to determine if it is a misdemeanor or a felony,” said Col. Jimmy Brashear with the Camden County Sheriff’s Office.

Missouri Senate Bill 919, filed by Republican Sen. Eric Burlison (R-District 133), would take aim at those sticky fingers eliminating the value-based penalty.

Under the legislation, the first offense would be considered a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of $2,000. The second offense, a Class E felony, carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison and up to a $10,000.

”I think it would deter people from committing these offenses because of how severe the punishment would be,” said Brashear.

It isn’t just the package on your porch, any type of mail theft would carry those hefty penalties. Prevention is still a valuable tool.

”I think the biggest [recommendation] is having it delivered to someone else’s house, like your neighbor, or even having it delivered to where you work,” said Brashear.

The bill has not yet been heard on the Senate floor.

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