Porch Pirates Are on the Rise, So Are Laws Against Porch Piracy

Centuries ago pirates would sail the seas collecting booty from abroad.

But now pirates simply have to drive their car around the block and steal packages no one has their eyes on.

Truly, they hardly earn the title of “pirate”, but one way or another….

Porch piracy is a more common issue than it should be.

But, like the changing of a tide, laws against porch piracy are on the rise.

Let’s dive into the world of porch pirate law!

Porch Piracy is on the Rise Since Covid-19 Lockdowns

A recent survey found that porch piracy during the Covid-19 pandemic is on the rise.

With 1 in 5 people reporting that they have had packages stolen since the stay at home orders began.

That is a lot of stolen packages!

Here’s the deal, porch piracy didn’t start because of Covid-19, mail theft has been a huge problem for many years.

How many fall victim to porch piracy?

Last year, according to a recent New York Times article:

Up to 90,000 packages are lost each day in New York City alone!

In fact, 11 million homeowners experienced stolen packages in 2015.

Fortunately, modern porch pirates aren’t nearly as violent as the pirates of olde’.

However, catching porch pirates is difficult. Making arrests is even harder.

In fact, according to some reports police make arrests in less than 10% of reports of stolen packages.

Fortunately, some police and local authorities are doing their best to make porch piracy less common.

Porch piracy and package theft laws

New Laws Against Porch Piracy

When it comes to protecting your home this winter, you need to protect your home from porch pirates.

No doubt about it, porch piracy is theft!

Of course, it has always been a crime, but like stated earlier. Porch pirates are hard to catch.

They strike when no one is around, and their crime usually only takes a few seconds.

Michigan for one has signed stricter penalties against porch piracy into law.

Federal Law Against Mail Theft

Mail theft, in general, is punishable under Title 18 U.S.C. Section 1708 of the United States Code.

Under this code, a person convicted of mail theft can be fined or imprisoned for up to 5 years.

Despite the existence of this law, some states are enacting their own laws against porch piracy.

Laws on porch piracy

Laws Against Porch Piracy in States

So what are states doing to curb the constant rise of porch piracy?

1. Oklahoma’s “Porch Piracy Act”

In November of 2020, Oklahoma passed an act called “The Porch Piracy Act of 2020”.

Also known as House Bill 2777 the bill imposes a $500 fine for the first offense of stealing mail. If a person is convicted of 3 violations of the act in a 60 day period, they will be imprisoned for a minimum of 2 years.

2. Michigan Law Against Porch Piracy

Senate Bill 23, and 24 recently passed in Michigan.

The crime of stealing packages near or in mailboxes in Michigan is now stricter than ever. Get this, there are 3 tiers to the new bill against package theft.

First Offense: The first offense will result in a misdemeanor charge, up to one year in jail and a $500 fine.

Second Offense: The second offense will result in a felony charge, up to five years in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Third Offense: The third offense will result in a felony charge, up to 10 years in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Truly these punishments should deter package theft.

Michigan wasn’t the first state to raise the punishment for stealing packages from a misdemeanor to a felony. These laws will leave you needing more than a public defender to deal with them.

3. Texas Laws Against Porch Piracy

In fact, on September 1st, 2019, Texas did the same with House Bill 37. In Texas porch pirates now face jail time from 180 days to 10 years. And fines for package theft now range from $4,000 to $10,000!

South Carolina pushed forth H. 3071 the Defense Against Porch Pirates Act at the beginning of 2019. It is currently awaiting the approval of the governor.

There is no doubt that other states will be following this same pattern to solve this huge problem.

Despite the laws, catching the package thieves is no easy feat. So it largely falls on homeowners to protect their own packages from thieves.

porch pirate stealing packages

How to Avoid Package Theft

Unfortunately, as it is now, you are the greatest defense against Amazon package pirates.

Yet, taking the proper precautions can really cut down greatly on the chances your packages will be stolen from your porch.

Here are 5 easy methods to avoid package theft:

  • Schedule packages for delivery when you will be home
  • Have a friend or neighbor collect your packages
  • deliver packages to your place of work
  • Consider a front door camera
  • Have packages delivered to a P.O Box

Of course, no one wants to have a camera at their front door. It is one of the only ways you can collect evidence to catch the thieves.

Of course none of those methods include my favorite way to avoid package theft from your porch.

And that is….

Prank the thieves!

Prank Porch Pirates for the Views

Unfortunately too many act like idiots for views on YouTube. However, if you have a porch pirate problem, why not make the best of it!?

This guy did just that!

If these videos prove one thing, it’s that porch pirates are easily spooked!

I hate videos where people annoy others for views, however, as far as I am concerned, porch pirates are fair game!

The Bottom Line on Porch Piracy

Regardless of how many laws against porch pirates there are, porch piracy will still be a thing.

Unlike using your cellphone while driving, catching a crime that only takes a moment to commit is not that simple.

As it stands today, despite US Title 18 U.S.C. Section 1708, there are no laws that can stop package theft from occurring altogether. It’s up to you to prevent the theft from occurring.

One of the best ways to prevent porch piracy is to make others aware! And to realize, that knocking at the door, may not be the police.

Share this article with your friends and family to help spread the message!

If you are looking for more to read, then be sure to check out our blog.

Leave a Reply