(KSLA) - Porch pirates, beware, as Texas has upgraded the misdemeanor crime to a felony.
A porch pirate is someone who steals mail or packages from someone’s porch. People have committed the crime throughout the country; and many have been caught through home surveillance systems.
In early June, Texas lawmakers passed House Bill 37.
That law makes stealing any mail, postal card, package, bag or sealed article a federal offense. Prior to the law, stealing mail was already a federal offense.
According to the new law, people convicted of the crime face 180 days to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
“I think it’s fair because people could have anything in their packages that they spent their hard earn money to buy,” Heath Smithson said. “Nobody deserves a criminal stealing from your porch.”
Some Texans consider porch pirates to be thieves who trespass on other people’s land.
However, other Texans believe the law is too severe.
“It should remain a misdemeanor and not a felony,” John Blackstock said. “A theft is a theft.”
The new law goes into effect Sept 1.