AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Fri July 9 2021 23:40:09

Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Stealing packages from people's porches or mailboxes is now a felony in the state of Georgia. 

"A new law in Georgia aims to curb porch piracy and mail theft by classifying certain degrees of these crimes as felonies, punishable by up to five years in prison," according to Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB).

Lawmakers believe it will serve as a deterrent, but Ben Stickle, an associate professor of criminal justice administration at Middle Tennessee State University, told GPB he was skeptical.

"This is a low-level entry crime," Stickle said. "It takes almost no skill to walk up and take a package from someone."

So what is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony? According to Findlaw.com, "Felonies are the most serious crimes you can commit and have long jail or prison sentences, fines, or permanent loss of freedoms. Misdemeanors usually involve jail time, smaller fines, and temporary punishments."

Do you think you would benefit from stiffer penalties for the theft of packages? As an online seller, what would you like to see changed?

You can find the full article on GPB.org: "Felony Punishments For Porch Piracy Take Effect In Georgia" - and tell us what you think.



Comments (16) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?   Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 10 07:52:55 2021

I am inclined to   DHEER    this change to this current situation of Porch Theft treated as no more offensive than Illegal parking violation.

NOT attacking the police and their enforcement efforts, but right now their task of enforcing the current laws, catching the offenders, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY developing enough Solid Evidence to secure a conviction seem to be insurmountable.  Sadly I think that the only real way to combat this $million-dollar rash of thefts that are largely spread over thousands of victims might require DOUBLING the number of detective-level police to have even the HOPE of satisfactory reducing in the WAVE of such thefts.
Part of how this is NOT being satisfactorily "attacked" is that I'll bet you entirely TOO MANY PEOPLE see it only as a ANNOYANCE to Mass-Marketers like AMAZON, WalMart, and their ILK.
Just have a talk with your own friends, family, and co-workiers and see who THOSE folks .. THINK are being harmed and whether those HARMED are made whole after the fact by INSURANCE payments.
They won't pipe up with "Oh, it is the EBAY SELLERS who take it in the shorts".

Perminate Link for Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?   Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 10 07:54:47 2021

CHEER, not "DHEER".   My monitor contrast is FADING with AGE.  sigh.

Perminate Link for Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?   Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sat Jul 10 12:26:02 2021

Go Georgia! Every theft off someone's porch should be classified as the highest degree of theft and the offenders should face the severest punishment possible. Maybe if a few of these criminals started facing five or more years in prison, the rest of their ilk would think twice about stealing packages. You'd have to be lower than an amoeba on the food chain to take something off of someone porch.

Perminate Link for Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?   Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sat Jul 10 13:15:28 2021

Yes.
I also want the Instant Death Penalty for hackers.
K.I.S.s.

Perminate Link for Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?   Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sun Jul 11 01:27:44 2021

A porch theft is a felony. But the BIDEN administration considers it a misdemeanor.

Perminate Link for Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?   Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sun Jul 11 12:59:01 2021

BIDEN administration is invalid.

Perminate Link for Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?   Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

by: Weirdbooks This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 11 17:15:23 2021

Bunch of things wrong here.

**''But the BIDEN administration considers it a misdemeanor.''**

What are you talking about?  How does a local property crime become part of the Biden administrations platform? Did I miss some big announcement?  No, didn't think so.

Somehow you think you can take the decades long problem of porch pirates (which has been an issue in the news since at least 2001-2002), and blame it on Biden's admin that has been in power for all of 5 months and counting.


Biden's administration does not decide how mail theft is charged.  It is up to the local prosecutor as to whether to charge the suspect with  petty theft, grand theft, identity theft, and other charges that may apply.   The local prosecutor may or may not charge the suspect with Federal mail theft crimes.

Mail theft is a ''light'' federal crime, and is often a felony crime, but not all mail theft/damage crimes are prosecuted as such.  A federal prosecutor may charge someone who ran over a post office letter drop box or stole a few magazines with a misdemeanor for example, while reserving felony charges for an organized band of porch pirates or identity thieves.

Again, this is not BIDEN'S decision, but the decision of the local prosecutor based on evidence, likelihood on conviction, among other factors.  Federal prosecutors often do not get involved in smaller cases, so again, is not the Biden DOJ that makes that decision which charges to bring or which sentences to recommend.

I'll also point out that federal mail theft charges only apply to common carriers (like USPS, UPS, Fedex, etc).  AFAIK items delivered by Amazon's drivers, Safeway, Dominoes, etc are NOT covered under the Federal Mail Theft statutes.  They would still fall under the misdemeanor or felony state charges based on value of items stolen.

Perminate Link for Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?   Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

by: Weirdbooks This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 11 17:29:31 2021

The law will probably be overturned.  If the penalty is greater than shoplifting an equivalent amount from a retail store, than I can't see the court enforcing this law.  If someone is convicted on this, it will not survive the first appeal.

While none of us like theft, saying that a stealing 3 mail order boxes with  granola bars, baby cups and stain remover inside is a felony, while breaking a store window and stealing a $500 electronic item is only a misdemeanor is stupid.

If politicians think that increasing the penalties will stop porch pirates (it won't), they would be better off lowering that amount to qualifies as a felony to $500.  Of course with the prisons being overcrowded and expensive to run, those low level non-violent offenders are back on the streets in days or weeks anyway.

Perminate Link for Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?   Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 12 00:14:11 2021

It's GA.  It seems like that state would do something stupid like that.  But porch pirating should be a misdemeanor.  Not jail time.  GEEZ!

Perminate Link for Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?   Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

by: West This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 12 01:13:20 2021

Some penalty for the theft is required. For federal mail:"Under United States Code 18 Section 1708, federal mail theft is a felony. If you are charged with mail theft, you could face up to five years in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000."

For Amazon Prime, UPS and Fed Ex perhaps something not as harsh but severe enough to deter a repeat offender. Perhaps 6 months of community service such as sweeping the floors of the local church or synagogue for 6 months. they can serve their sentence and get some religion at the same time!

Perminate Link for Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?   Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 12 05:34:34 2021

@ West, I think the USPS means actually going into a mailbox and taking mail.  Or robbing from a mail truck. Porch pirate is fairly new.  The USPS is not specific.

Perminate Link for Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?   Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

by: Nothingnewecrater This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 12 06:55:24 2021

It's about time this is taken serious. Yes a theif doesn't care about anyone. Lock em up!

Perminate Link for Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?   Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

by: cvsharkey This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 12 06:57:43 2021

Guess we'll see what happens after the first porch thief gets shot.
It may be that the theft is only currently coming under stolen property & trespassing

If it becomes more than that--plan on court calendars becoming fuller than they re now. And are people who bring charges willing to appear in court for package theft & lose their own time? Doubt it.  

Perminate Link for Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?   Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

by: felyne This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 12 07:28:42 2021

Depends on the DA and judges. If u have one as in Houston, where a 7 time felon was let go and then he Murdered a mom, and then ran b/c of weakened bail laws, then stealing a package will prob get u a slap on the wrist. It seems a package is worth more than a human's life. Same in LA where they're trying to recall their AG. Then u have the breaking in and looting of stores in San Fran, Seattle, Portland without any fear of arrest. If u have an honest judicial system, laws will work, if not, good luck. So be careful how u vote and where u live.  

Perminate Link for Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?   Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

by: VaGent This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 12 10:54:08 2021

The only thing lower than a liar is a thief. Lock them up.

Perminate Link for Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?   Do Porch Package Thefts Warrant Long Jail Times?

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 19 10:55:56 2021

Is Georgia's problem bigger than other states? That said - who hasn't tightened up their own delivery?  I have no theft in my neighborhood at all - we're all to old to get out there and run anymore but I still had a company just charge me an extra $22 to have my goods delivered with signature required. So the theft thing is costing all of us.



Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.