Harder punishment for package thieves

Local News

A new Texas law will make it felony to be a repeating porch pirate

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Did you know that 1 in 4 people have reported falling victim to package theft in 2018? This is according to a survey conducted by Wakefield Research.

Rita Harlow, who is a San Angelo Resident feels this is important, “it affects everybody, everybody!”

“Just like a vulture, they’re out there targeting,” expressed Jerry Applebee who is a San Angelo Resident.

“I think all communities experience package theft. It’s a crime of opportunity and there are criminals who spend their day driving around while people are at work or attending appointment and they’re looking for those packages on doorsteps,” explained Tracy Piatt-Fox who is the Public Information Officer at the San Angelo Police Department.

Starting September 1, 2019, it’s going to be tough for criminal package thieves because House Bill 37 has been signed into law.

This means stealing mail, from 10 to 29 times will be a state jail felony.

Offences at 30 and over will be considered a third-degree felony.

Both categories including thousands of dollars worth of fines and jail time.  

“It provides another layer of protection and justice to those who are victims of these crimes,” stated Victoria Powers who is a Sonora Resident.

“It is one small part to the overall solution to this,” said Officer Piatt-Fox.

Other ways to prevent your packages from being stolen is to have them delivered to your work or apartment office and getting a surveillance camera.

A program called Neighbors by the Ring Home Security System has already helped with this problem in our community.

“If anything is going on in your neighborhood for instance, vehicle burglaries or package thefts, you can post that surveillance and it will be visible to everybody – including the police department,” claimed Officer Piatt-Fox.

“I think it’ll keep everyone on the same page to know who to look out for,” added Patricia Bolen who is San Angelo Resident.

However, if you don’t have the luxury of having those types of devices on your home, start building relationships with your neighbors.

“A safer community is dependent on the communication of the people who live within the community,” elaborated Officer Piatt-Fox.

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