MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s a crime we’ve seen committed time and time again over the last month: porch pirates picking off your packages.
Cops are trying their best to crack down, but how penalized a pirate is depends on where they do their poaching.
Many know it’s a felony and federal offense to steal mail out of a mailbox, but swiping packages is considered just misdemeanor theft in many areas.
If a thief took a package from a mailbox, they’re stealing from a government enclosure, AKA a mailbox. But if a pirate is swiping from a porch, it’s not an automatic felony in the Mid-South.
Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee don’t appear to have any law changes on the horizon.
Arkansas and Tennessee consider it a misdemeanor to steal property less than $1,000, and Mississippi law makes it a felony to steal property valued at more than $500.
In the state of Texas, porch pirates are in for a holiday surprise this season, but not one that’s wrapped under the tree.
As of this year, thieves will be charged with felonies when they’re caught stealing packages. If a thief is caught stealing a package and then convicted there, they’ll face anywhere from six months to 10 years behind bars.
Just in time for the holidays, porch piracy is now a felony in Michigan, too. New Jersey, California, and South Carolina are working on laws to help residents.
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