AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – On September 1, the State of Texas declared that mail theft would be considered a criminal offense due to the fact that the holidays are around the corner and the probability of these crimes increasing.
The Smith County Sheriff’s Office advises that people get to know their neighbors, to call their local law enforcement agency with a description of the suspect and license plate number should a situation arise, and to not try to apprehend a suspect on their own.
The charges could range from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Third Degree Felony. The type of charge given to a possible offender depends on the number of mail pieces stolen by the suspect. However, if a person were to steal mail with “identifying information,” then the charge would range from a State Jail Felony to a First Degree Felony.
“Identifying information” means information that identifies a person that includes a person ’s name, date of birth, address, financial account numbers, and social security number.
The new law defines mail as a bag, package, letter, postcard, or other article delivered by a common carrier or delivery service not received by the person intended, or it has not been collected by either of those systems.