Wichita Falls (KFDX KJTL) — Data shows more than $23 million is lost annually due to porch pirates, thieves stealing mail and packages from others. Texas lawmakers hope to curb thieves when House Bill 37 takes effect on Sunday.
“This new law that’s implemented in September is going to make that possibly a felony charge with ranges of punishment,” Lt. Criminal Investigator David Mauldwin said. “From six months in jail up to ten years in prison and $10,000 fine.”
Stealing from fewer than 10 addresses doesn’t constitute a felony unless certain groups are targeted.
“Anything that’s over that amount falls into that felony range there is also stipulations that say if it’s taken from an elderly individuals residents or disables residents then its automatically a felony,” Mauldwin said.
Local business owner Denver Dunbar said he is excited for the new law because his business runs on deadlines and he can’t afford to have supplies stolen from the mail.
“I’m all for HB 37 especially being a local contractor I have clients that have holiday deadlines and we meet our deadlines now if we have a package that pertains to the job that doesn’t show up because of it being stolen that would have a negative impact on contractor or client,” Dunbar Painting Denver Dunbar said.
Law enforcement can effectively punish those who commit mail theft and they hope to see a decline in porch pirates starting September.