OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill that strengthens penalties for porch package theft was sent to the governor Monday with the anticipation it will be signed into law.
House Bill 2777, by State Rep. Ross Ford, R-Broken Arrow, establishes a misdemeanor for first and second offenses and a felony for three or more offenses within a 60-day period of anyone holding, concealing, destroying, or taking mail from the mailbox or premises of another person or from a delivery vehicle at any point throughout the delivery route without the addressee’s consent or with the intent to deprive the addressee of their mail.
“Even before this current pandemic, which has forced many Oklahomans to order medicine, groceries and other products to be delivered to their homes and businesses, porch piracy was on the rise here and in other states,” For said. “This law puts some teeth into the penalty for those who would steal such merchandise.”
Statistics show that one in five Americans report having been victim to porch piracy, and businesses report losing an estimated $9 billion annually from the practice.
Ford, a former police officer, said HB 2777 gives law enforcement and courts specific guidance for how to investigate and prosecute these offenses.
First offenses may be subject to imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of up to $500. Those convicted of third or subsequent offenses may face up to two years in prison and/or up to a $5,000 fine. Restitution to the victim also will be required as allowed by law.