New law makes stealing packages a felony offense

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It’s not a new problem.

“We watched a gentleman pull up in the afternoon about 4:30 and walk non-chalantly up to our porch, gather all of our packages from the U.S. Postal Service,” said one homeowner.

And it’s certainly a widespread issue.

“In 2015, there was 23.5 million packages stolen from u.S. Citizens,” said “In 2017 it went up to 26 million packages stolen.”

Leaving customers without goods, and in most cases, businesses responsible for replacing what was taken.

“This isn’t your property, you have no right to take somebody’s things,” said the homeowner.

Lawmakers agreed and created a bill to help curb the trend. House Bill 37, which passed in the recent legislative session, makes stealing packages a felony.

“Before this, basically local authorities didn’t have a law that allowed them to prosecute someone who stole a package, they kind of treated it like shoplifting,” said Justin Roberts of Roberts & Roberts in Tyler.

Now local law enforcement will be able to pursue the thieves.

“It kind of tiers the activity you’re doing, so if it’s taking packages and you’re doing more than 10, you’re going to go to jail, automatically,” said Roberts. “If you’re doing it to steal identities, it’s an even higher penalty, and if you’re doing it to someone that’s disabled or elderly, it’s an even higher penalty.”

Giving online shoppers some peace of mind.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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