Senate sends Porch Piracy Act to Governor’s Desk

Mike Seals - May 12, 2020 8:59 am

OKLAHOMA CITY – Nearly one in five Americans report having fallen victim to porch piracy.  The Senate approved legislation Monday to strengthen penalties against those who steal mail, packages or other items out of others’ mailboxes or off porches. House Bill 2777, by Sen. Lonnie Paxton, creates the Porch Piracy Act of 2020 to help better protect businesses and consumers.

“Porch piracy is becoming a common crime with the popularity of online shopping and home delivery.  Given deliveries are typically made during the day when homeowners are at work, mail and other items become easy targets for these criminals,” said Paxton, R-Tuttle. “This is a crime that costs businesses an estimated $9 billion annually in losses when they’re forced to replace stolen items. House Bill 2777 will give Oklahoma law enforcement and courts specific guidelines to investigate and prosecute porch piracy.”

The bill prohibits anyone from holding, concealing, destroying, or taking mail from the mailbox or premises of another person or from a delivery vehicle at any point throughout the delivery route without the addressee’s consent or with the intent to deprive the addressee of their mail.

HB 2777 establishes a misdemeanor for first and second offenses and a felony for three or more offenses within a 60-day period. First offenses may be subject to imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of up to $500.  Those convicted of third or subsequent offenses may face up to two years in prison and/or up to a $5,000 fine. Restitution to the victim will also be required as allowed by law.

The measure now goes to the governor for his final consideration.

 

Sen. Lonnie Paxton presenting the bill.

 

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