Listen up 'porch pirates': Texas Gov. Abbott signs bill making package theft a felony

Deputies are searching for a tuxedo jacket-wearing porch pirate who stole packages from a house located in the 14700 block of North Eldridge Parkway.

HOUSTON – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is making it a felony to be a porch pirate. 

The governor signed HB 37, which redefines criminal penalties for mail theft in Texas. The law will go into effect on September 1. 

Read the full law here. 

According to the law, mail theft is a misdemeanor if mail is stolen from fewer than 10 people with a fine of $4,000, but becomes a felony if more than 10 people were victims of the thefts. Jail time ranges from 180 days to 10 years in prison with the option of a fine of up to $10,000.

Additional penalties could be levied if identifying information was included in the stolen mail or the person targeted were elderly or disabled. 

Read more here.



About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.