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Missouri lawmakers discuss laws to discourage porch pirates

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 5:30 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The holiday season is not the only time we experience package thefts. Turns out it is on the rise throughout the year.

A bill made it through the Missouri House hoping to discourage criminals from considering the crime. If someone steals a package off of your porch, the value inside the package would decide how the person would be charged. A proposal up for debate makes a first offense a misdemeanor and the second is a felony, no matter the value.

Last week, Danielle Miller received a note her package had been delivered. But when her mother went to the porch to grab it for her, it was gone.

“I don’t like thieves,” Miller says. “I can’t stand being taken from and taken advantage of. I just feel violated.”

Investigators with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve certainly got more calls on stolen packages.

“COVID-19 [has]people not wanting to get out and having a lot more packages delivered to them,” Deputy Jason Winston with the Greene County Sheriff’s office says. “Criminals are taking advantage of people using the convenience of having packages delivered to their homes.”

The new proposed law means harsher punishment no matter the value of the parcel.

“I do believe the stricter punishment would deter some people from stealing packages from porches,” Deputy Winston adds. “But on the other side of the coin, We have criminals out there that don’t care what the possible consequences might be.”

Miller knows she probably won’t get her package back, but she hopes that if this passes it won’t happen again.

“It’s no different than going into a store and stealing something,” said Miller. “Because it’s shoplifting to me. You’re stealing something I bought. That’s how I look at it. There’s no difference. It needs to be a crime.”

Rep. Adam Schwadron of St. Charles sponsors the proposed law.

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